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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 1: Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:30 pm
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Gospels: news of Titus' military victory against the Jews?

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Are the gospels simply a vanity piece of unified typological literature containing Roman propaganda that promotes the Flavian’s victory against the Jews during the First Jewish-Roman War?

Josephus’ Jewish War was published c. 80 AD following Titus Flavius becoming Roman emperor, describing his Judean campaigns that crushed the Jewish uprising and destroyed their city, Jerusalem, together with its holy temple. This is known as the First Jewish Revolt (66-73 AD). The religious works of the canonical Gospels were written about the same time as Josephus’ Jewish War, but describe a prophet named Jesus and events that supposedly took place 40 years earlier (ending in 33 AD). Josephus went on to write more official Roman history books under Titus’ brother Domitian (reigned 81-96 AD), including Antiquities of the Jews and Life of Flavius Josephus.

Josephus’ Jewish War and the Gospels are so interwoven that the Flavian court historians must have authored both sets of literature? Therefore, Christianity was invented c.80 AD with the publication of Wars of the Jews (and the Gospels) - Jesus Christ representing an archetype role for prefiguring Titus and prophesying events fulfilled in his campaigns, so is merely a fictional character with stolen characteristics and attributes from past deities and prophets. This system is known as Typology, and here reveals the purpose and meaning behind the parallel system employed by its designers - linking both books - through a subtext, puzzle conundrums and interpretable satire among other symbolism and textual devices invisible from the surface narration. Analysis begins with 50 parallels occurring between Josephus and the Gospels – in sequence – containing patterns and matching elements that share some unique: verbatim/near-verbatim, concept, names, and/or location.

The gospels map to Josephus’ Jewish War when Jesus first begins his ministry and when Titus has his first major battle against the Jews at Jotapata; below is the chronology that leads up to this event followed by the first of many parallels I hope to cover in detail here – and in chronological order – as the discussion progresses.

Chronology
66 AD: Under emperor Nero and a series of Roman procurators – Felix, Festus, Albinus, and Florus - the Jews, in the eastern province of Judea, revolted against Roman domination by ravaging the country, setting villages on fire, killing Jonathan the high priest, and rioting at Caesarea over whether Jerusalem belonged to the Jews or Greco-Romans (JW 2.247-283). Under Florus, the Jews were suffering tyranny, and no fewer than 3 million denounced him as the bane of the country (JW 2.280). About 3,600 Jews were killed by Florus in a single day (JW 2.293-308). In Jerusalem more deaths were to follow when Florus attempted to access the temple and Antonia tower, but failed (JW 2.315-332).

May/June: Official beginning of the rebellion and war between the Jews and Romans (JW 2.284) “Some of the main promoters of the war attacked a fortress called Masada and took it by stealth, killing the Romans who were there. Eleazar, son of Ananias the high priest, persuaded those who officiated in the divine service to accept no gift or sacrifice from any foreigner. This was the true beginning of our war with the Romans, for they put an end to the sacrifice for them and for Caesar. It was then discussed by the high priests, leading Pharisees and other influential people about the repercussions for only allowing Jews alone to sacrifice or to worship in the temple - contrary to their ancestors' policy. However, the innovators of war would not heed this advice, so the influential tried to save themselves by sending envoys to Florus, king Agrippa and others. Agrippa grieved and sent 3,000 cavalry to the help of the citizens. Encouraged by this, the influential people, including the high priests seized the upper city, for the rebel party held the lower city and temple. For 7 days there was slaughter on both sides, but neither side would yield up the areas they had seized.” (JW 2.408-424)

During the Festival of Wood-carrying, the king’s men were forced from the upper city. The others then set fire to the houses, palaces and the records archive. The influential people and high priests escaped, some hiding in underground vaults. Others fled with the king's troops to the upper palace, shutting the gates behind them (JW 2.425-429). Antonia was attacked and set on fire (03-Sep) then they marched on the palace, where the king’s men had fled and divided into four groups to attack its walls (JW 2.430). Meanwhile a certain Manahem, son of Judas surnamed the Galilean, retreated to Masada with his company. There he gave out arms not only to his own people, but to other bandits. With these as his bodyguard he returned to Jerusalem in royal state to become leader of the revolt, and ordered the siege to continue (JW 2.433-437). Those inside eventually offered to surrender. This was granted only to the king's troops and their fellow nationals, who accordingly left. The Romans who were left retreated to the royal towers. Manahem and his party attacked the palace as the soldiers fled, killing as many as they could catch before they reached the towers, then they plundered what they had left behind and burned their camp (JW 2.437-440). Next day the high priest was caught where he was hiding in an aqueduct, and he and Hezekiah his brother were killed by the brigands. Then the rebels besieged the towers. Eleazar's group attacked Manahem's group, who at first resisted but then fled. Most were hunted and killed, but a few escaped to Masada, including Eleazar, son of Jairus, a relative of Manahem, who later played the tyrant in Masada. Manahem went into hiding, but was taken alive, tortured in public and finally killed, as well as captains under him (JW 2.441-448). The soldiers under the Roman general, Metilius, offered to surrender their weapons to Eleazar just to spare their lives. Three men were sent to give them the guarantee of their pledge, but then treachery ensued and the soldiers were cruelly butchered except for Metillus for he promised to turn Jew and be circumcised. The city was full of sadness and every sensible person in it was troubled. The very same day the people of Caesarea killed the Jews living among them, so that within an hour more than 20,000 Jews were killed, and all of Caesarea was emptied of its Jewish population, and Florus caught any who fled (JW 2.449-457).

The whole province was in turmoil, and full of atrocities. Villages and towns were ravaged as Jews fought non-Jews, with a similar number of deaths on each side (JW 2.458-465). The people of Scythopolis caused the Jews to fight each other (Life 24-27), where 13,000 Jews were killed in that city alone. Nearly every town and city was affected with several thousand deaths, except for Antioch, Sidon, Apamea and Gerasa. In Alexandria (Egypt) 50,000 Jews lay dead in heaps after the area had to be restrained by Tiberius Alexander and 2 Roman legions assisted by Libyan soldiers. Then Alexander ordered the Romans to retreat, but with some difficulty (JW 2.466-498).

In response to the unrest in Judaea, Cestius Gallus, the legate of Syria, assembled the Syrian legion XII Fulminata, reinforced with units of III Gallica, IIII Scythica and VI Ferrata, plus auxiliaries and allies, a total of 30,000 soldiers, in order to restore order in the neighbouring province (Wikipedia; JW 2.499-512). He first dealt with Galilee (JW 2.499-512), and seeing no further signs of revolt (20-28 Sep) ascended on Bethoron – fifty furlongs from Jerusalem. When they saw the war approaching, the Jews abandoned there festival (Feast of Tents) and took to arms. They attacked the Romans with such force that they broke through their ranks, slaughtering through the middle of them. Cestius and his whole army was nearly in danger. Five hundred and fifteen Romans were killed, while the Jews lost only twenty-two (JW 2.513-520). When the front of their army was cut off, the Jews retreated to the city, but as they were ascending up Bethoron Simon, son of Giora, still attacked the Romans from the rear and spread panic in the rearguard of their army and took many of the pack animals. But now Cestius took his whole force and put the Jews to flight and pursued them as far as Jerusalem, arriving there 16-Nov (JW 2.521-532). He attacked the city in vain then gave up and retreated. The brigands noticed his surprising retreat and pursued the rear of his army and killed many of their cavalry and infantry. Cestius stayed all night at the camp of Scopus. He tried to move away farther the next day, but the enemy in pursuit continued harrying and killing his rearguard. The Romans barely made it to their former camp at Gabao with heavy losses and several important leaders killed. Cestius stayed there for two days, was at a loss to know what to do, and on the third day saw still a greater number of the enemy and the whole area full of Jews. To escape faster, he ordered them to jettison anything that could slow the army's march; and then marched as far as Bethoron. Cestius planned how best to escape. He chose four hundred of his bravest soldiers and placed them on the rooftops to make the Jews believe that the entire army was still there, while he took the rest of his forces and marched thirty furlongs in silence (JW 2.533-551). In the morning (25 Nov), when the Jews saw that the camp was empty, they immediately overcame the four hundred who had tricked them and killed them, and went in pursuit of Cestius. However, he had already spent most of the night on the move and marched still quicker during the day. They went on pursuing the Romans as far as Antipatris, and unable to overtake them, turned back and took the machines and despoiled the corpses and gathered up the loot left behind and returned to their capital, running and singing. While they had lost only a few, they had killed five thousand, three hundred infantry and three hundred and eighty cavalry, on the Roman side. (JW 2.552-555)

The Jews appointed their own government and minted their own coins. Josephus was given Galilee and Gamala (JW 2.562-584) and built defences at many settlements. John of Gischala, son of Levi - cunning and devious - gathered a band of 400 and ransacked all of Galilee creating fear of war. Becoming wealthy from thievery and oil export, he tried to get rid of Josephus and ruin his career, spreading rumours, and even attempted to have him assassinated. Four cities rebelled from him immediately, but he recovered them without war. Simon son of Gioras gathered many men in favour of revolt and went on to ravage the territory and showed the beginnings of his tyranny. (JW 2.590-594).

67 AD: Vespasian was selected by Nero as the only one capable of dealing with the Jewish revolt. Vespasian sent his son Titus from Achaia, where he had been in Nero's company, to Alexandria, to bring back from there the fifth and tenth legions, while he himself, after crossing the Hellespont, marched overland into Syria, where he gathered the Roman forces (JW 3.1-8; JW 3.64-69). The Jews, after their unexpected victory against the Romans, marched on Ascalon - always hostile to the Jews - as their first assault. The fight went on until the evening, when 10,000 men of the Jews' side lay dead, including 2/3 generals - due mainly to the superior cavalry of the Romans. A few Romans were also wounded in this battle. After resting for too short a while for their wounds to fully heal, they gathered their forces and attacked to Ascalon more furiously and in much greater numbers - into a second destruction - up to 8,000 killed (JW 3.9-28). Vespasian mustered his forces in the capital of Syria, Antioch, in April. Along with king Agrippa, who was waiting for his arrival with all his forces, he marched on to Ptolemais - met by the people of Sepphoris - the only ones in favour of peace who swore allegience to Cestius Gallus - now they also welcomed the general himself. (JW 3.29-63) Vespasian stayed some time in Ptolemais with his son Titus, putting his army in order, while Placidus was hunting through Galilee and killing many whom he caught. He assaulted Jotapata, but the Romans were put to flight, though only seven were killed. Vespasian was impatient to attack Galilee, so he set off from Ptolemais with his army, encamping at the border. Josephus fled to Tiberias then Jotapata. Vespasian reached the city of Gadara and took it at the first assault, as it lacked any significant number of warriors. Vespasian arrived at Jotapata (22-May) after sending Placidus with a thousand to surround the city and prevent Josephus from secretly escaping (JW 3.110-148).

On the first day of battle outside the ramparts 13 Romans had been killed compared to 17 Jews, but with many more wounded. The battle carried on in this fashion for 5 days, the Romans undaunted by the difficulties of taking the city. Vespasian decided to lay siege. Josephus responded by raising the city walls higher each day and fitting them with several towers and strong battlements, baffling the Romans. Vespasian decided to let them starve out - short of water. Josephus consulted with the influential people about a means of escape. His departure would be the city's ruin, since no one would dare oppose the enemy once the man they trusted had left. He decided to stay, gave a speech to his people, before racing to the Roman camp itself and pulling it to pieces. Vespasian saw the Romans troubled by these raids and proceeded to deploy a battering ram. Josephus managed to delay it's effectiveness and burn the Roman's equipment and progress. Several brave individuals went up against the Romans. Vespasian was struck with an arrow in his foot and wounded a little, causing alarm among the Romans. Out of concern for his father Titus came first of all and the others were distressed due to their esteem for their general and the anxiety of his son. But the father soon calmed the son's fear and the army's distress and roused them to fight the Jews more ardently. The majority of those who fought so hard for Jotapata fell with honour, and most of them were wounded, as the wall, after being ceaselessly battered, finally yielded (JW 3.149-269). The Romans ascended the walls (21-Jun), but were thrown down and burnt with hot oil from Josephus' clever invention. Vespasian called off those soldiers who had been badly mauled, of whom not a few had died and even more were wounded, while no more than six of the Jotapatans were killed, but more than three hundred were carried off wounded (JW 3.270-282). Vespasian comforted his army after what happened and he ordered them to raise the ramparts still higher and to build three towers, each fifty feet high, covered on all sides with plates of iron, held firm by their weight and not easy to set on fire. The battle raged on (JW 3.283-288).

25-Jun: Fall of Japha: About this time Vespasian sent Trajan, commander of the tenth legion, off with a thousand cavalry and two thousand infantry, against a city called Jaffa, near Jotapata. 12,000 of them were killed in-between their double walls. Reserving its capture for the general, he sent messengers to Vespasian, asking him to send his son Titus to complete the victory. Trajan and Titus worked jointly to take the city by siege. 15,000 fell with 2,130 captives.
27-Jun: Fall of Gerizim: Vespasian sent Cerealius, commander of the fifth legion, to deal with the Samaritans at the holy mountain of Gerizim. Not persuaded by his pledge, he attacked them and killed all 11,600 of them.
01-Jul: Fall of Jotapata: weakened and with few men left in the city, the Romans marched silently to the wall surrounding Jotapata - the Roman earthworks were now higher - Titus himself was first up on it, with one of his tribunes, Domitius Sabinus and a few of the fifteenth legion. They cut the throats of the sentries and entered the city very quietly. After these came Cerealius the tribune and Placidus, leading their men. The Romans spared nobody and showed no mercy, but drove the people down the precipice from the citadel, killing them as they went. Many elite and lesser men committed suicide in the outskirts of the city. 40,000 Jews were killed - few on the Roman side - and Vespasian ordered the city to be entirely demolished.

Physician heal thyself (Luke 4:16-30 vs. JW 3.323-331)
Location: “Nazareth” vs. Jotapata. The existence of a town called “Nazareth” was not known in the first century. In the fourth century, Flavius Constantine built a church next to the ancient Judean town of Japha (near Jotapata), at a site proclaimed by his mother Helena as having been shown to her in a vision as being the “Nazareth” described in the Gospels. Note: Jesus also mentions Capernaum, which is coming in the next parallel after this.

And He said to them, “No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’” And He said, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown. “But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land; and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. “And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff. But passing through their midst, He went His way. (Luke 4:16-30)They marched silently to the wall, at the aforementioned hour, and it was Titus himself who first got up on it, with one of his tribunes, Domitius Sabinus and a few of the fifteenth legion. They cut the throats of the sentries and entered the city very quietly. After these came Cerealius the tribune and Placidus, leading their men. When the citadel was taken and the enemy were in the very middle of the city at daybreak, the people were still unaware of their city's capture, Many of them were fast asleep and a great fog, which happened to fall over the city, hindered the ones who were awake from seeing their predicament clearly. They woke up after the whole army had entered, to find the extent of their disaster, and only as they were being killed did they see that the city had been taken. Recalling all that they had suffered during the siege, the Romans spared nobody and showed no mercy, but drove the people down the precipice from the citadel, killing them as they went. The difficulties of the place hindered those who were still able to fight from defending themselves, for they were blocked in the narrow streets and could not keep their footing along the precipice, and were crushed by the warring crowds streaming down from the citadel. This drove many, even of the elite men around Josephus, to kill themselves with their own hands, for when they saw themselves unable to kill any of the Romans, and determined not to let themselves be killed by Roman hands, they gathered in the outskirts of the city and committed suicide. (Jewish War 3, 7, 323-331)

Verbatim: both refer to “driving” people “down” a “cliff” or “precipice” as a possible connection between the 2 stories.
Concept: Once the verbatim link is considered, which forms a concept in itself (driving people down a cliff), “Physician, heal yourself” then begins to stand out as some kind of slogan for “kill themselves with their own hands” – but this is far from clear at first glance. To confirm the concept - and indeed the parallel - we need to look up the verse that Jesus is referring to about “Elijah and the widow”:

“Then the word of the Lord came to him: “Get up, go to Zarephath that belongs to Sidon and stay there. Look, I have commanded a woman who is a widow to provide for you there.” So Elijah got up and went to Zarephath. When he arrived at the city gate, there was a widow woman gathering wood. Elijah called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup and let me drink.” As she went to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand.” But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I don’t have anything baked—only a handful of flour in the jar and a bit of oil in the jug. Just now, I am gathering a couple of sticks in order to go prepare it for myself and my son so we can eat it and die.” (1 Kings 17:8-12)

Typology: so what have we learnt from this first example? In the gospels Jesus was about to be driven over the edge of the citadel, but in the historical narrative of Josephus it’s the Romans who are driving the Jewish people out of their own city!
Satire: Jesus is teaching his disciples about a widow who killed herself and her son as a dark anti-Semitic reminder of the Roman victory at Japha and Jotapata, where the Jews committed suicide after many were driven over a cliff by the Romans.
Information: The authors require us to sometimes look up verses in other books of the bible in order to understand the joke. Jesus’ words make more sense when harmonized with Josephus in this, the first of many parallels - occurring in sequence - for at least 50 stories in the Gospels and real life events in the Jewish War.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 2: Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:21 pm
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Re: Gospels: news of Titus' military victory against the Jew

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[Replying to gilius]

I never thought of the Gospels as a piece of Roman propaganda. Although your study of Josephus is informative, to tie the Gospel story to propaganda by the throw Jesus from the cliff episode is a bit of a stretch. Am I reading this right? Can you say more why you say the Gospels are Roman propaganda?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 3: Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:17 am
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Quote:
I never thought of the Gospels as a piece of Roman propaganda. Although your study of Josephus is informative, to tie the Gospel story to propaganda by the throw Jesus from the cliff episode is a bit of a stretch. Am I reading this right? Can you say more why you say the Gospels are Roman propaganda?

That was just the entrance to the typological system that exists between the gospels and Josephus (part 1/50); here's the 2nd part - in sequence - directly after the previous part, following the fall of Jotapata...

Chronology
The Romans were searching for Josephus, and found him in a pit adjoined to a cave among 40 escapees, promising to spare him and urging him to come up via two tribunes. A third tribune, Nicanor, was sent, a former acquantance and friend of Josephus whom convinced him to surrender. Those Jews surrounding him were not happy and threatened to kill him. Josephus gave a long speech about suicide being ignoble, but they did not listen and attacked him. Josephus blocked their attacks, moved by various passions, and opted to have their deaths decided by lot. By luck Josephus was the last survivor and was led by Nicanor to Vespasian. The Romans assembled to see him captured, and Titus was moved to pity by his bravery and patience under his sufferings - sharing his compassion with others - the main reason why his father kept him alive. However, Vespasian gave strict orders for him to be carefully guarded, intending soon to send him to Nero (JW. 3.340-398).

Heaven and hell
The Romans were searching for Josephus, in a rage at him and because their general wanted him captured, and reckoning that taking him would influence the outcome of the war, they searched among the dead and into the most concealed recesses of the city. However, as the city was collapsing he was helped by a supernatural force, for he pulled back from the very middle of enemy and jumped into a deep pit, to one side of which was a large cave which was invisible from above ground. There he found forty prominent people in hiding, with enough provisions for many days. So during the day he hid from the enemy, who had captured the whole place, and at night he got up from the cave and looked round for some way of escape, carefully noting where the sentries were. But there was no way to escape unseen, since on account of him all routes everywhere were guarded, so he returned to the cave. There he remained hidden for two days, but on the third day he was betrayed, when they captured a woman who had been with them. Vespasian quickly sent two tribunes, Paulinus and Gallicanus, with orders to give Josephus a promise to spare his life and to urge him to come up. So they came and invited the man to come up, assuring him that his life would be spared, but they could not persuade him. His suspicions arose not from the mild temper of those who invited him but from the likelihood that one who had done such things as he had must suffer for it. His fear that he was being invited to come up to be executed lasted until Vespasian sent him a third tribune, Nicanor, a former acquaintance and friend of Josephus. He arrived and described the innate mildness of the Romans towards the defeated, assuring him that he had behaved so valiantly that the officers rather admired than hated him. The general wanted him brought to him, not in order to punish him, for he could do this even should he not come freely, but because he preferred to save a gallant man. He added that Vespasian, had he wished to entrap him, would not have sent a friend to him, nor put a fair cloak on a foul deed by masking treachery with friendship; nor would he himself have agreed to come in order to deceive his friend. As Josephus hesitated about Nicanor's proposal, the soldiers in their anger tried to set fire to the cave, but the tribune would not let them, being anxious to take the man alive. While Nicanor was trying to get him to agree and he saw how many enemies threatened him, Josephus called to mind what he had dreamt in the night, how God had shown him in advance the future troubles of the Jews and what concerned the Roman emperors. He had skill in interpreting mysterious dreams coming from God, being a priest himself and descended from priests, and familiar with the prophecies in the sacred books. Just then he was in an ecstatic state, and recalling the tremendous images of his recent dreams he secretly prayed to God, "Since it pleases you, Creator of the Jewish nation, to break what you have made, and all their good fortune has gone over to the Romans, and you have chosen this soul of mine to foretell what is later to happen, I willingly surrender to the Romans to go on living, not as a deserter but as your servant." Saying this, he accepted Nicanor's invitation. But when the Jews who had fled with him understood that Josephus was yielding to the offer, they surrounded him in a body and cried out, "Now may our ancestral customs, and God himself, well groan - God who created the souls of Jews to despise death! Josephus, are you so fond of life? Can you bear to see the light in a state of slavery? How soon have you forgotten yourself! How many have you persuaded to give their lives for liberty! Your famous bravery is false and likewise false is your famous wisdom, if you can hope for safety from those whom you have fought so hard, and are even willing to be spared by them, if it is true. But if the fortune of the Romans has made you forget yourself, we will not see the glory of our ancestors tarnished. We will lend you a right hand and a sword. If you die willingly, you will die as general of the Jews, but if unwillingly, you will die as a traitor to them. " When they said this, they began to point their swords at him and threatened to kill him, if he thought of surrendering to the Romans. (Wars of the Jews, 3, 340-360) and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet:
“THE LAND OF ZEBULUN AND THE LAND OF NAPHTALI,
BY THE WAY OF THE SEA, BEYOND THE JORDAN, GALILEE OF THE GENTILES—
“THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT,
AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH,
UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED.” (Matthew 4:13-16)

Verbatim: this very next story in the gospels shares some verbatim with the next event in the Jewish War: “light” and “prophet”/”prophecies”. Potential “dead”/“death” of “people” is also a theme here.
Concept: On both sides of the parallel, people are sitting in darkness on the “shadow of death”: the “dark pit” about to be set ablaze sounds awfully like Hell? But with such a grim prospect, there is light at the end of the tunnel within the context of a prophecy being fulfilled.
Typology: Josephus and co. were on the verge of death in hell, but then they saw a light – the Romans – offering them freedom of life instead of execution. God had shown Josephus through a prophetic dream the future troubles he would face with the Romans should they not surrender. Jesus shows this prophecy having come to pass through Isaiah.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 4: Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:38 am
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A great deal of this is lifted verbatim from Joseph Atwill’s work.

Unless you are Joseph Attwill, I think there is a problem. Sources should be cited lest people think you are more clever than you are without cause.

Take care,
TFV

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 5: Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:20 am
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tfvespasianus wrote:

A great deal of this is lifted verbatim from Joseph Atwill’s work.

Unless you are Joseph Attwill, I think there is a problem. Sources should be cited lest people think you are more clever than you are without cause.

Take care,
TFV

Most of what I hope to cover here is new research that builds on foundation laid by Joe (and others) and corrects a lot of previous research. Out of about 50 stories/parallels, 30 are newly discovered by me, including the first 2 I've presented above (Joe doesn't cover those in his work). Therefore, I feel I have cited all the relevant sources in Josephus and the Gospels, but I will admit there is some overlap with Joe's work. The general idea of a Flavian invention of Christianity is also covered in Ralph Ellis' work. And those authors aren't the first to mention a possible Roman basis for the Gospels. Unfortunately, it's not possible to give credit to everyone when it comes to church history. Anyway, I hope this is now settled, and I've justified myself; so without further ado I like to continue to present evidence that contributes to this discussion without any unnecessary setbacks.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 6: Mon Nov 09, 2015 4:53 pm
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Directly after Josephus surrendered to the Romans we move on to the very next scene in the gospels and Jewish War...

Chronology
Josephus prophesied that Vespasian and Titus will become emperors and not to send him to Nero. They showed him honour, but chose to not set him free. (JW, 3.399-408)

The demoniac at Capernaum who was the first to name the Christ and Fever at the fishing town of Migdal/Taricheae - the true identity of Mary Magdalene
Location: Capernaum then Migdal/Tarichea
They went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach. They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, saying, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” .. Immediately the news about Him spread everywhere into all the surrounding district of Galilee. (Mark 1:21-28)

Then He got up and left the synagogue, and entered Simon’s home. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high (Greek:megale”) fever, and they asked Him to help her. And standing over her, He rebuked the fever, and it left her; and she immediately got up and waited on them. (Luke 4:38-39 = Mark 1:29-31)
When Josephus heard this he asked to speak with him alone. When all others except Titus and two of their friends were ordered to withdraw, he said, "Vespasian, you regard Josephus as just another captive, but I come to you as a messenger of good news .. You, Vespasian, will be Caesar and emperor, you and this son of yours. Chain me more securely and keep me for yourself, for you, Caesar, are master not only of me, but of land and sea and all mankind. And surely I deserve to be kept in even stricter custody, and to be punished, if I affirm anything rashly, as coming from God." (Jewish War 3, 8, 399-402)

Immediately I too made a sudden turn with my own forces and met those of the king's party and put them to flight; and I would have performed great deeds that day, if not prevented by some demon. I broke some bones in my wrist, and was carried into a village named Cepharnome, or Capernaum. I sent for physicians and after their treatment I continued feverish that day; then at night, under doctor's orders, I was removed to Tarichea (AKAMigdal). (Life of Flavius Josephus, 12, 402-404)

Verbatim: Capernaum, unclean spirit/demon, fever/feverish, God, high/megale/Migdal
Concept: A man with an unclean spirit, i.e. possessed by a demon. The naming of the holy ones.

“demons, which are none other than the spirits of the wicked” (Jewish War, 7, 185)

Typology: A man with an unclean spirit was the first to name Jesus the Holy One of God; Josephus also describes emperor Vespasian as God on earth so to speak. The unclean spirit turns out to be Josephus who was “feverish” (how Romans describe hot headed Jews; see below) during his meeting with the “king’s party” (cross-referenced to Life of Flavius Josephus), so in other words: Josephus is describing Vespasian and his son as the holy ones of God on earth. And news about them was spread throughout Galilee, i.e. the Romans are coming under the “godhead”/Trinity of Vespasian and his Son Titus (Domitian was the “terrible spirit”) to crush the Jews, i.e. "destroy us" (Jews).

“As in a human body, when the principal part is feverish, all the members suffer with it, so the rebellion and disorder in the metropolis gave the wicked in the countryside the chance to ravage it too…” (Jewish War, 4, 406-407)

Satire: Simon’s mother-in-law was described as being ill with a high “megale” fever. Mary Magdalene is described later in Luke 8:2 as having exorcised seven demons, so there is a pun on Magdalene, megale and Josephus being sent to Migdal town (Tarichea) – one of the many Galilean fishing villages containing demonic Jews – which Jesus “heals” or the Romans “save” (depending on the perspective).

“Tarichea had rebelled” (Jewish War 3, 9, 445)

Information: The authors like to play on words and use puns, as clear from this Magdalene vs. megale example. Reference is occasionally made from Josephus' biography (like an addendum to the Jewish War) in order to make sense of all the typology, otherwise it would have made it seem too obvious if all relevant parts of the story were placed in the Jewish War alone (or a single gospel)

"But what most inspired them to undertake this war was an ambiguous oracle also found in their sacred writings, that someone from their country would become ruler of the world about that time. The Jews took this prediction as applying to themselves and many of the wise men were wrong in their estimate of it, for it denoted the rule of Vespasian, who was in Judea when appointed as emperor." (JW 6.312-315)

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 7: Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:06 pm
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Chronology
Josephus married his first wife from among the captives of the district at Vespasian's command (Life 414). Vespasian at Ptolemais on 04-Jul (JW 3.409). From Ptolemais, Vespasian proceeded to Caesarea - welcomed by the locals who were clamouring against Josephus - he put two of his legions in winter-quarters there, but so as not to burden them with the entire army, he put the tenth and the fifth at Scythopolis.

Meanwhile those of the rebels who had fled from the enemy got together and repaired Joppa. However, the region was so ravaged and not capable of supporting them that they decided to go off to the sea and build many ships in the seas near Syria and Phoenicia and Egypt, for piracy. When Vespasian learned of this gang, he sent infantry and cavalry to Joppa - unguarded at night. They fled to the seas, but were caught up in a storm. The Romans came upon those who drifted to shore and killed them. The number of the bodies so thrown up from the sea was four thousand, two hundred. Then the Romans took the city without opposition and demolished it. So in a short period Joppa was twice taken by the Romans. To prevent any pirates from returning to it, Vespasian built a camp where the citadel of Joppa had been, leaving a troop of cavalry and a few infantry there, to guard the camp and ravage the country round about and destroy the villages and smaller cities near Joppa (JW 3.410-431).

News reached Jerusalem that Jotapata had been taken with such great loss and rumours that Josephus had died, but the truth finally emerged and the Jews hated the fact that he had seemingly defected to the Romans, and wanted revenge (JW 3.432-442).

Vespasian was invited by Agrippa to see his kingdom, so he travelled from Caesarea on sea to Caesarea Philippi. There he rested his army for 20 days and was treated to a festival. News reached them that Tiberias was ready to revolt and that Tarichea had already rebelled - both parts of Agrippa's kingdom - so Vespasian sent his son Titus to Caesarea, to bring the army to Scythopolis (not far from Tiberias). He himself went there and waited for his son, who arrived with three legions and encamped thirty furlongs from Tiberias, at a place called Sennabris, within sight of the rebels. He sent Valerian, a decurion, to offer peace to those in the city, but he fled after a surprised attack instigated by Jesus, son of Shaphat, the ringleader of a gang of brigands. The elders and influential people fled to the Roman camp, bringing their king with them, and fell down before Vespasian not to judge the whole city for the madness of a few. Vespasian accepted and Jesus and his party thought it unsafe for them to remain in Tiberias, so fled to Tarichea. The next day Vespasian sent Trajan ahead with some cavalry to the citadel, to test people's readiness for peace. He and his army were welcomed as their saviour, and their city was restored to a peaceful state. (JW 3.443-461)

The city that recognized the saviour
Location: ? / Tarichea

When evening came, after the sun had set, they began bringing to Him all who were ill and those who were demon-possessed. And the whole city had gathered at the door. And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who He was. (Mark 1:32-34)The next day Vespasian sent Trajan ahead with some cavalry to the citadel, to test the people's readiness for peace. When he saw that the people were of the same mind as the petitioners, he brought his army into the city, whose people opened the gates to him and met him with shouts of joy, calling him their saviour and benefactor… To gratify the king, he told them to abstain from looting and injustice, and so spared the rest of the wall. On their behalf the king undertook fidelity in future, and so he restored this city to a peaceful (Whiston: quiet”) state, after it had been grievously threatened by the revolt. (Jewish War 3, 9, 457-461)

Verbatim: city, healed/saved/healed, quite/not speaking
Typology: moving onto the very next event in Jesus’ ministry and continuing with the theme established last parallel regarding Vespasian’s divinity, here he restores a city to a quiet state and is called a “Saviour”.
Satire: the anti-Semitic “demon” theme also continues here in describing the hot-headed Jews who are said to now be peaceful or quiet following Vespasian’s restoration of the city.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 8: Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:56 pm
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Moving onto the very next passage in the gospels and the next few events in the Jewish War:

Chronology
Going on, Vespasian camped between that city and Tarichea. All the rebel forces had gathered at Tarichea. Jesus and his party attacked the Romans who were building a wall around their camp, pulling to pieces what little they had built, but retreated to their own lines when they saw the infantry re-grouping. The Romans chased them to their ships on the lake. Ships were drawn into a phalanx, and the enemy was fought on land. A large crowd gathered in front of the city, so Vespasian sent his son with cavalry to disperse them. Titus requested more reinforcements still for there was an immense number of Jews. He address his troops with a lengthy speech, taking the lead and offering reassurance. Trajan joined the battle. Titus assaulted the enemy on horseback, trampling them. Many were killed, scattered and ran to the city. Titus pressed after the hindmost killing as he went. They were met by a serious revolt in the city, but the majority were outside. Encouraging his men with another speech he jumped on his horse and rode down to the lake and riding through the water was the first to enter the city, with the others following him. Some of Jesus' men fled to the fields; others ran down to the lake. There was a great slaughter in the city. Titus sent message to his father on the good news of what he had done. The next day he went down to the lake and gave orders for rafts to be fitted up, to pursue those who had escaped in the ships (JW 3.462-505).

The Christ that preached the gospel (euaggelion)
Location: ? / Sea of Galilee
Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Messiah.
But he said, “I must proclaim the good news (Greek: “euaggelion”) of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” (Luke 4:42-43 = Mark 1:35-39)
But Vespasian hearing that a large crowd of them had gathered in the plain in front of the city, sent his son, with six hundred chosen cavalry, to disperse them… Titus sent one of his cavalry to his father with the good news (Greek: “euaggelion”) of what he had done. (Jewish War 3, 10, 470, 503)

Verbatim: son, sent, “good news”
Concept: Jesus was sent by God, his father, to preach the good news; Titus was sent by his father Vespasian, and reported the good news (same word in Greek).
Typology: Vespasian was seen as a God and Titus was seen as the son of God. The Roman historians even reported that Vespasian became divine (divus), as part of the Imperial Cult beginning with Julius Caesar, after a stray dog brought Vespasian a human hand and an Ox offered itself for sacrifice. Vespasian also performed miracles:
“Vespasian” .. “spittle” .. “common people” .. “eye-balls” .. “accomplished what was required” (Tacitius, The Histories)
Jesus .. “spittle” .. “man” .. “eyes” .. “able to see” (John 6:6)

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 9: Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:07 pm
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[Replying to post 4 by tfvespasianus]

Yes Atwell, probably the latest in a long line of people to discover it.
The rest, of course were probably burned at the stake.

Well, lets ask the questions:
Did the Romans have a policy of using Religion to subjugate its subjects?
Yes.
Did they have a motive to have the people of Jerusalem give up their warrior messiah, liberator of this earth, for a more powerful messiah of Magic fairy Land, errr... I mean Heaven?
Yes.
Did they have a motive for this messiah to be peaceful, have him encourage obeying Rome and pay Rome's taxes?
Yes.
Is Elohim the original God of the Jews?
Yes.
Is Jove the God of the Roman Empire, and tribute to Rome is tribute to Jove?
Yes.
(Wait, this is going somewhere.)
Is Jove pronounced with the e? and does the J become an Ee, like Ee ov-euh? (Jehovah)
Yes.
Could it also be correctly and grammatically/phonetically pronounced Ye o way? (YHWH)
Yes.
Could the Romans have secretly replaced Elohim with Jove at the same time they put the Pharisee in power and completely destroyed the Sadducee?
Yes, it is what I would do.
Is Jesus a cognate of Jezeus.
Yes.
Is Je a form of "hail" "celebrate" or "call attention to..."
Yes.
Is Zeus a cognate of Deus, which has become Dios, Dio, and Dieux?
Yes.

It is looking pretty good that the premise of the OP is spot on.
Are Christians therefore giving praise to Capitoline Jove whenever they exclaim "Jesus?"
It sounds that way to me-especially when I say it out loud. JeZus!

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 10: Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:53 am
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Moving onto the very next passage in the gospels and the very next event in the Jewish War:

Chronology
When the vessels were ready, Vespasian - assisted by his Son, Titus - set sail after those on the lake and sunk the fishing fleet, catching the Jews like fish as they attempted to swim to safety, and cut off their heads or hands, or killed them with spears. Many more were killed on the shore, until the whole lake was bloody and full of corpses - none of them escaped. (JW 3.522-530)

Fishing for men at the Sea of Galilee
Location: lake of Gennesaret = Sea of Galilee
Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him. (Matt. 4:18-22)

Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! “And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades” (Matt. 11:21-23)

Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat. When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.” When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus' feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.” When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him. While He was in one of the cities, behold, there was a man covered with leprosy; and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” And He stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately the leprosy left him. And He ordered him to tell no one, “But go and show yourself to the priest and make an offering for your cleansing, just as Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” But the news about Him was spreading even farther, and large crowds were gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. (Luke 5:1-16)
…the lake beside it, that the local people call Gennesareth. Still, they had on the lake a number of ships to retreat to if they were defeated on land, and these were equipped so that they could also fight from the water. Jesus and his party .. made a sally out at them .. with the Romans in pursuit them and chasing them into their ships. They sailed as far out as allowed them reach the Romans with their missiles, casting anchor and drawing their ships into a phalanx and from the sea fought the enemy on land. But Vespasian hearing that a large crowd of them had gathered in the plain in front of the city, sent his son, with six hundred chosen cavalry, to disperse them. Seeing how numerous the enemy was, he sent a message to his father that he would need more forces. .. he stood in a place from which he could be heard and said to them, "My men - my Romans! Remember that you are going to battle well armed against men who are almost naked.. .. your commander, who will lead you into danger and be the first to attack the enemy? Do not let me down, therefore, and be sure that God will be my ally .." Titus..next day he went down to the lake gave orders for rafts to be fitted up, to pursue those who had escaped in the ships. These vessels were quickly gotten ready, as there was lots of material and many artisans. The area of the same name, "Gennesareth" on the other side of this lake is remarkable and beautiful. Some have thought it to be a vein of the Nile, because it produces the Coracin fish like the lake near Alexandria. When the vessels were ready, Vespasian put upon board as many as he considered necessary to defeat those on the lake and set sail after them. Those who were forced onto the lake could not escape to the land, where all was in enemy hands, nor could they fight it out as equals on the lake, for their ships were small and fit only for piracy. The stones they threw at the Romans only made a rattling sound, striking men on their armour, while the Roman spears could reach the Jews themselves, and when they ventured near the Romans, they died before they could do them any harm, and were sunk with their ships. Many of those who tried to come to close quarters were run through, as the Romans jumped into their ships, sword in hand, and killed them, or if they were caught between the rafts both the ships and the men were captured. Any who had fallen into the lake, if they lifted their heads, were either killed by spears, or caught by the rafts, and if, in desperation, they tried to swim towards the enemy, the Romans cut off either their heads or their hands. Many of them were pushed back as they came ashore, or killed with spears within the lake, and the Romans jumped from their boats to kill many more on the shore, until the whole lake was bloody and full of corpses and none of them escaped. (Wars of the Jews 3, 463, 466-472, 477, 483-484, 503, 505, 516, 520, 522-523, 525-527,529)

Verbatim: there’s too many matching words here to bother mentioning: boats are comparable to small ships or vessels, Chorazin appears to be a word corruption of Coracin – not the first time will have encountered this technique (nor the last).
Name: both feature the name Jesus and at the same location.
Concept: Jesus and his disciples is comparable to “Jesus and his party”; and these Jews are comparable to fish in water. Both Titus and Jesus offer leadership and reassurance – allied by God (established as Vespasian in previous parallels).
Typology/Satire: Jesus tells is his disciples to “follow him” and he will make them “fishers of men”, i.e. they will “catch men” – on the contrary, however, it is the Jews who are getting “caught” like “fish” as they attempt to swim to safety from the Romans led by Vespasian and his Son Titus. Titus is the genuine Lord here – not Jesus. And one of the slaughtered Jewish fishing villages around the lake, Chorazin, was named after a type of fish! Jesus prophesies the destruction of the Galilean towns and he prophesies men will be “fished”; this is prefiguring the Jewish War where those prophecies are being fulfilled. To confirm this is the case, all these parallels are occurring in sequence between the Gospels and Josephus, event by event, and if we look up the story about “Moses commanding a cleansing” in the context of a man covered in “leprosy” that Jesus refers to at the end of the passage, we find the following sobering verse:

Then the Lord said, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, the skin was leprous —it had become as white as snow.
“Now put it back into your cloak,” he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.
Then the Lord said, “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first sign, they may believe the second. But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground.”
(Exodus 4:6-9)

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