Saturday, 29 August 2015

Part 2: Did Origen quote Josephus saying that James was ‘the brother of Jesus who is called Christ’?




For those who like to go into these things more deeply than in my recent blog, I’m reproducing below in interlinear fashion the text of the three passages in Origen in which he either alludes to or quotes something he has read - and attributes to Josephus - with which he takes issue. What he takes exception to is seeing words in which he finds a non-believer saying that Jesus is ‘called Christ’ as distinct from being KNOWN as Christ by believers.

This only makes sense if Origen has in front of him words to which he takes exception, in which Jesus is referred to as ‘called Christ’. Nothing else but that has provoked such a reaction out of him.

Origen sees this as being in a context where the phrase is not just loosely referred to, but which he takes as signalling Josephus’ less than positive attitude to Christ. Origen can’t resist the temptation to put Josephus right repeatedly by asserting that Jesus IS the Christ.


Brief excerpts follow and then the full texts.


 


Origen, On Matthew 10.17


… Φλάβιον Ἰώσηπον … εἰρηκέναι κατὰ … Ἰάκωβον τὸν ἀδελφὸν Ἰησοῦ τοῦ λεγομένου Χριστοῦ … τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἡμῶν οὐ καταδεξάμενος εἶναι Χριστόν,


… Flavius Josephus, …  said that … James the brother of Jesus who is called Christ… he did not accept
our Jesus to be Christ,




Origen, Against Celsus 1.47


ὁ Ἰώσηπος …. καίτοι γε ἀπιστῶν τῷ Ἰησοῦ ὡς Χριστῷ … Ἰακώβου τοῦ δικαίου, ὃς ἦν ἀδελφὸς Ἰησοῦ τοῦ λεγομένου Χριστοῦ … πῶς οὐχὶ εὐλογώτερον διὰ Ἰησοῦν τὸν Χριστὸν τοῦτο φάσκειν γεγονέναι;  


Josephus …  though not believing in Jesus as Christ … says … James the just, who was a brother of Jesus who is called Christ … how is it not more reasonable to say that it happened on account of Jesus the Christ?           




Origen, Against Celsus 2.13.


Τοῦτο γὰρ ἤρξατο μὲν … ὡς μὲν Ἰώσηπος γράφει  διὰ Ἰάκωβον τὸν δίκαιον, τὸν ἀδελφὸν Ἰησοῦ τοῦ λεγομένου Χριστοῦ, ὡς δὲ ἡ ἀλήθεια παρίστησι, διὰ Ἰησοῦν τὸν Χριστὸν τοῦ θεοῦ. 


For this began … as Josephus writes, on account of James the just, the brother of Jesus who was called Christ, but, as the truth demonstrates, on account of Jesus the Christ of God.


 From that, it is quite clear that Origen is taking issue with the way a non-believer wrote of Jesus as being ‘called Christ’ and keeps putting it right to make an impression on doubters. A key question in debates about the authenticity of this quote is this: which non-believer text has provoked Origen's reaction? The only non-believer text that resembles any part of this is Josephus.)


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The texts are in full below (with thanks to the Text Excavation website), with changes in my highlighting and font to assist those less familiar with the Greek.



Origen, On Matthew 10.17


[A] Ἰάκωβος δὲ ἐστιν οὗτος ὃν λέγει Παῦλος ἰδεῖν ἐν τῆ πρὸς Γαλάτας ἐπιστολῇ, εἰπών· Ἕτερον δὲ τῶν ἀποστόλων οὐκ εἶδον εἰ μὴ Ἰάκωβον τὸν ἀδελφὸν τοῦ κυρίου.


[A] But James is this one whom Paul says that he saw in the epistle to the Galatians, saying: But I did not see any of the other apostles except James the brother of the Lord.


[B1] ἐπὶ τοσοῦτον δὲ διέλεμψεν οὖτος ὁ Ἰάκωβος ἐν τῷ λαῷ ἐπὶ δικαιοσύνη


[B1] And in such a way among the people did this James shine for his justice


[C] ὡς Φλάβιον Ἰώσηπον ἀναγράψαντα ἐν εἴκοσι βιβλίοις τὴν Ἰουδαϊκὴν ἀρχαιολογίαν,


[C] that Flavius Josephus, who wrote the Judaic Antiquities in twenty books,


[D] τὴν αἰτίαν παραστῆσαι βουλόμενον τοῦ τὰ τοσαῦτα πεπονθέναι τὸν λαὸν ὡς καὶ τὸν ναὸν κατασκαφῆναι,


[D] wishing to demonstrate the cause why the people suffered such great things that even the temple was razed down,


[E1] εἰρηκέναι κατὰ μῆνιν θεοῦ ταῦτα αὐτοῖς ἀπηντηκέναι διὰ τὰ εἰς Ἰάκωβον τὸν ἀδελφὸν Ἰησοῦ τοῦ λεγομένου Χριστοῦ ὑπ᾿ αὐτῶν τετολμημένα.


[E1] said that these things came to pass against them in accordance with the ire of God on account of the things which were dared by them against James the brother of Jesus who is called Christ.


[F] καὶ τὸ θαυμαστόν ἐστιν ὅτι, τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἡμῶν οὐ καταδεξάμενος εἶναι Χριστόν,


[F] And the wondrous thing is that, although he did not accept our Jesus to be Christ,


 [B2] οὐδὲν ἧττον Ἰακώβῳ δικαιοσύνην ἐμαρτύρησε τοσαύτην.


[B2] he yet testified that the justice of James was not at all small;


[E2] λέγει δὲ ὅτι καὶ ὁ λαὸς ταῦτα ἐνόμιζε διὰ τὸν Ἰάκωβον πεπονθέναι. 


[E2] and he says that even the people supposed they had suffered these things on account of James. 




Origen, Against Celsus 1.47


[C] Ἐν γὰρ τῷ ὀκτωκαιδεκάτῳ τῆς Ἰουδαϊκῆς ἀρχαιολογίας ὁ Ἰώσηπος μαρτυρεῖ τῷ Ἰωάννῃ ὡς βαπτιστῇ γεγενημένῳ καὶ καθάρσιον τοῖς βαπτισαμένοις ἐπαγγελλομένῳ.


[C] For in the eighteenth volume of the Judaic Antiquities Josephus testifies to John as having been a baptist and promised cleansing to those who were baptized.


[F] ὁ δ᾿ αὐτός, καίτοι γε ἀπιστῶν τῷ Ἰησοῦ ὡς Χριστῷ


[F] But he himself, though not believing in Jesus as Christ,


 [D] ζητῶν τὴν αἰτίαν τῆς τῶν Ἱεροσολύμων πτώσεως καὶ τῆς τοῦ ναοῦ καθαιρέσεως,


[D] in seeking the cause of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple,


[G1] δέον αὐτὸν εἰπεῖν ὅτι ἡ κατὰ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἐπιβουλὴ τούτων αἰτία γέγονε τῷ λαῷ, ἐπεὶ ἀπέκτειναν τὸν προφητευόμενον Χριστόν,


[G1] whereas he ought to have said that the conspiracy against Jesus was the cause of these things happening to the people, since they killed the prophecied Christ,


[E1] ὁ δὲ καὶ ὥσπερ ἄκων οὐ μακρὰν τῆς ἀληθείας γενόμενός φησι ταῦτα συμβεβηκέναι τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις κατ᾿ ἐκδίκησιν Ἰακώβου τοῦ δικαίου, ὃς ἦν ἀδελφὸς Ἰησοῦ τοῦ λεγομένου Χριστοῦ,


[E1] even says, being unwillingly not far from the truth, that these things befell the Jews as vengeance for James the just, who was a brother of Jesus who is called Christ,


[B] ἐπειδήπερ δικαιότατον αὐτὸν ὄντα ἀπέκτειναν.


[B] since they killed him who was most just.


[A] τὸν δὲ Ἰάκωβον τοῦτον ὁ Ἰησοῦ γνήσιος μαθητὴς Παῦλός φησιν ἑωρακέναι ὡς ἀδελφὸν τοῦ κυρίου, οὐ τοσοῦτον διὰ τὸ πρὸς αἵματος συγγενὲς ἢ τὴν κοινὴν αὐτῶν ἀνατροφὴν ὅσον διὰ τὸ ἦθος καὶ τὸν λόγον.


[A] Paul, a genuine disciple of Jesus, says that he saw this James as a brother of the Lord, not so much on account of their relationship by blood or of their common upbringing as on account of his ethics and speech.


[E2] εἴπερ οὖν διὰ Ἰάκωβον λέγει συμβεβηκέναι τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις τὰ κατὰ τὴν ἐρήμωσιν τῆς Ἱερουσαλήμ,


[E2] If, therefore, he says that the things surrounding the desolation of Jerusalem befell the Jews on account of James,


[G2] πῶς οὐχὶ εὐλογώτερον διὰ Ἰησοῦν τὸν Χριστὸν τοῦτο φάσκειν γεγονέναι;  


[G2] how is it not more reasonable to say that it happened on account of Jesus the Christ?                                                                      



Origen, Against Celsus 2.13.


[E1] Τοῦτο γὰρ ἤρξατο μὲν ἔτι Νέρωνος βασιλεύοντος, παρέτεινε δὲ ἕως τῆς Οὐεσπασιανοῦ ἡγεμονίας, οὗ ὁ υἱὸς Τίτος καθεῖλε τὴν Ἱερουσαλήμ,


[E1] For this [siege] began while Nero was still being king, and it lasted until the leadership of Vespasian, whose son Titus destroyed Jerusalem,


[C] ὡς μὲν Ἰώσηπος γράφει,


[C] as Josephus writes,


[E2] διὰ Ἰάκωβον τὸν δίκαιον, τὸν ἀδελφὸν Ἰησοῦ τοῦ λεγομένου Χριστοῦ,


[E2] on account of James the just, the brother of Jesus who was called Christ,


[G] ὡς δὲ ἡ ἀλήθεια παρίστησι, διὰ Ἰησοῦν τὸν Χριστὸν τοῦ θεοῦ. 


[G] but, as the truth demonstrates, [actually] on account of Jesus the Christ of God. 






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