Page images


[ocr errors]



This younger

ness of this paragraph, others have rejected it. And for avoiding tbe charge of singularity, and for giving satisfaction to some scrupulous persons, I shall, beside the authors before referred to, transcribe at the bottom of the page & the observations of Vitringa. And I add the judgment of Dr. Warburton, now bishop of Gloucester, who has expressed himself upon the subject in very clear and strong terms. • If a Jew,' says h his Lordship, owned the truth of christ

ianity, he must needs embrace it. We, therefore, cer• tainly conclude that the passage where Josephus, who was as much a Jew as the religion of Moses could make him, is made to acknowledge tbat Jesus is the Christ, in as strong terms as words could do it, is a rank forgery, and a very stupid one too.

IIÍ. There is yet one passage more in the works of Josephus, which ought to be here taken notice of: it is in the twentieth book of his Antiquities, and to this purpose.

• The i emperor having been informed of the death of Festus, sent Albinus to be praefect in Judea. And the king [meaning Agrippa the younger] took away the high-priestFood from Joseph, and bestowed that diguity upon the son of Ananus, who also was named Ananus Ananus, who, as we said just now, was made high-priest, wask haughty in bis behaviour, and very enterprising : and moreover he was of the sect of the sadducees, who, as have also observed before, are above all other Jews serere in their judicial sentences. This then being the temper of Ananus, and he thinking he had a fit opportunity because Festus was dead, and Albinus was yet upon the road, calls

f See p. 487, notes.

8 Sed vehementer dubito, post doctissimas etiam Huetii curas, an non hic fetus Josepho sit suppositus, et ab alienâ manu in textum intrusus. Utique pro certo et indubio habeo, totum locum, ut nunc apud Josephum habetur, e calamo Josephi non effluxisse : sed, si omnino Josephus Christi Jesu hoc in contextu meminerit, locum a manu christianâ esse interpolatum mutatumque. Quod jam si dicamus, ne sic quidem omnis sublata erit difficultas : sed restat longe maxima de cohærentiâ horum verborum Josephi, quibus Christo testimonium perhibet cum sequentibus; Circa eadem tempora aliud etiam Judæos turbavit incommodum,' &c. Quæ tamen verba, si testimonium de Christo e contextu Josephi sustuleris, egregie cum præcedentibus conspirabunt. Ad quam difficultatem removendam nuper nihil aliud a doctissimo Tillemontio produci potuit, quam verba Josephi, quæ de Christo agunt, contextui tapɛvθετικως inserta esse. . In quo tamen dubito, an docti acquieturi sint. Vitring. Observ. Sacr. l. 4. cap. 7. sect. xi. p. 971.

í See Divine Legation of Moses, B. 2. Sect. 6. p. 295. Vol. i.

· L. 20. cap. viii. sect. 1. θρασυς ην τον τροπον, και τολμητης διαφεροντως.

- καθιζει συνεδριον κριτων και παραγαγων εις αυτο τον αδελφον Ιησε το λεγομενα Χρισ8, Ιακωβος ονομα αυτό, και τινας έτερος, ως παρανομησαντων κατηγοριαν ποιησαμενος, παρεδωκε λευσθησομενες.





a council of judges: and, bringing before them James the brother of him who is called Christ, and some others, he accused them as transgressors of the laws, and had them stoned to death. But the most moderate men of the city, who also were reckoned most skilful in the laws, were offended at this proceeding. They therefore sent privately to the king, [Agrippa before mentioned,] entreating him to send orders to Ananus no more to attempt such things: and some went away to meet Albinus who was coming from Alexandria, and put him in mind that Ananus had no right to call a council without his leave. Albinus, approving of what he had said, wrote to Ananus in inuch anger, threatening to punish him for what he had done; and king Agrippa took away from him the high-priesthood, after that he had enjoyed it three months, and put in Jesus the son of Damnæus.'

This passage is cited from Josephus by m Eusebius, and from the twentieth book of his Antiquities. It is also quoted by » Jerom, but very inaccurately. We perceive likewise that it was in the copies of Josephus in the time of Photius.

Nevertheless, there are learned men, of good judgment,p who think that the words which we now have in Josephus concerning James are an interpolation.

They were in Josephus in the time of Eusebius, and afterwards : but it does not follow they were always there : indeed, there is a good deal of reason to believe that they were not originally in Josephus.

I have elsewhere 9 carefully examined the most ancient

[ocr errors]

m H. E. 1. 2. cap. 23. p. 65, 66.
^ De V. I. cap. ii. De Jacobo fratre Domini.

αυθεντισας καθιζει συνεδριον, και Ιακωβον τον αδελφον τα Κυριά, συν έτεροις, παρανομιαν αιτιασαμενος, λιθοις αναιρεθηναι παρασκευαζει, κ.λ. Phot. cod. 238. p. 977.

P Facile quidem crediderim, Jerosolymitanos proceres graviter tulisse, quod synedrium suâ auctoritate instituisset, cum dudum jus gladii a Romanis esset Judæis ademtum ; quod iterun inconsulto Cæsare ab Anano usurpatum timebant, ne genti suæ gravi fortasse pænâ luendum esset. Sed quæ de Jacobo, Jesu, qui Christus dicebatur, fratre, habentur, merum adsumentuin male feriati christiani esse videntur. Cleric. H. E. ann. 62. n. ii. p. 415.

Sunt quoque rationes sat graves, quæ persuadeant hæc fuisse interpolata, et scripsisse duntaxat Josephum : και παραγαγων εις αυτο τινας, και ως παρανομησαντων κατεγοριαν ποιησαμενος, κ. λ. Statutosque coram eo nonnullοs, et accusatos perfractæ legis, tradidit lapidibus obruendos. Id. Ars Crit. P. 3. cap. 14. sect. 12. Vol. 2. p. 289.

Illa de Jacobo, Jesu, qui Christus dicebatur, fratre, (licet agnita ab Eusebio, aliisque eum sequutis, disertimque a Photio,) pro mero adsumento male feriati christiani habentur a nonnullis; quam recte, koitikwTEPWY esto judicium. Hudson, annot. ad Antiq. 1. 20. c. ix. sect. 1.

9 See this Vol. ch. xvi. sect. li. v. vi.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

accounts of the death of James, called the Just, and the brother of Jesus: those disquisitions will be of use here. The persons of wbom Josephus speaks, who were tried and condemned by the Jewish council at the instigation of Ananus, were stoned, and probably without the city. But according to the history of the death of James, given by Hegesippus, a learned Jewish believer and writer in the second century, the death of James was effected in a tumultuous manner; the disturbance began at the temple, and he died there, or near it. Some flung him down and threw stones at him : but his death was completed by a blow on the head with a long pole, such as fullers make use of in beating wet clothes. This is said by Clement of Alexandria in his Institutions, as cited by Eusebius, and bys Hegesippus, as cited also by him. That therefore is the true and ancient account of the death of James, the Lord's brother: and the christians of the second century knew nothing of that account of his death which we now have in Josephus: therefore, probably there was. then nothing in bim about it; for if there had, they would not have been ignorant of it.

Moreover, it is very observable that, according to the long and particular history of the death and martyrdom of James, which we have in Hegesippus, that apostle suffered alone : there was no attempt made upon any others, as the passage now in Josephus intimates. And it is inconsistent with the whole narrative that any others should be joined with him.

And that James suffered martyrdom, not by order of council, as now in Josephus, but in a tumultuous manner at the temple, or near it, and by a blow on the head with a fuller's pole, appears to have been the general and prevailing opinion of christians in the fourth century, as well as before : for it is mentioned by t Jerom, and Epiphanius, very agreeably to Hegesippus.

Δυο δε γεγoνασιν Ιακωβοι" εις ο δικαιος, ο κατα τα πτερυγιο βληθεις, και ůto yvapews &UW TAnyEls els davarov. Clem. A. ap. Euseb. H. E. 1. 2. c. i.

38. D. Conf. ib. cap. 23. p. 63. C. et 65. C. And see in this work, the present Vol. ch. xvi. num. iii.

8 Και λαβων τις απ' αυτων, είς των γναφεων, το ξυλον εν ώ απεπιεζε τα ματια, ηνεγκε κατα της κεφαλης τα δικαιε. Και ούτως εμαρτυρησεν. Hegesipp. ap. Euseb. H. E. 1. 2. cap. 23. p. 65. B. ¿Qui cum præcipitatus de pinnâ templi, confractis cruribus, adhuc semivi

fullonis füste quo uda vestimenta extorqueri solent, in cerebro percussus interiit

et juxta templum, ubi et præcipitatus fuerat, sepultus est. Hier. de V. I. cap. 2.

Qui et. ipse postea de templo a Judæis præcipitatus successorem habuit Simonem, quem et ipsum tradunt pro Domino crucifixum. Id. Comm. in ep. ad Gal. cap. i. T, 4. p. 237.

u Hær. 78. num. xiv. p. 1046.

[ocr errors]






In this place therefore Josephus gave an account of some who were accused by Ananus, and condemned by his council as transgressors of the Jewish laws: and what Ananus did was upon several accounts disliked by many discreet and moderate men : but there is not sufficient reason to believe that James was particularly mentioned by him as one of them.

It is certain we ought to be very cautious in admitting quotations from Josephus by later christian writers; for they had a great regard for him, and were fond of having his testimony, whether there was ground for it or not. Theophylact, upon John xiii. 33, and referring also to John vii. 34, says, • The Jews sought him when their city was taken, and the • wrath of God fell upon them on all sides; as also Josepbus • testifies, that those things happened to them upon account • of the death of Jesus.'

So says Theophylact. But from Origen, as before seen, we have good reason to believe that there was no such account in the works of Josephus, and that he never said any such thing.

In Suidas is a long article at the word Jesus, where it is said that · Josephus, who is often quoted by Eusebius

Pamphili in bis Ecclesiastical History, expressly says, in • bis History of the Jewish War, that Jesus sacrificed with the • priests at the temple.'

There is no such thing there now; and probably never was in any good copies of the works of Josephus: but as he was an author in great repute with christians, and he was often appealed to, and too often quoted inaccurately, (of which Jerom, in his article of St. James, is a remarkable instance, his works were as likely to suffer some interpolations as any writer's whatever.

Blondel supposed, that to this desire of making an advantage from Josephus we owe the insertion of the remarkable testimony to Jesus which we have above so largely considered. What Blondel says appears to me so judicious, and so apposite to the purpose, that I shall transcribe him

[ocr errors]

-ώς και Ιωσηπος μαρτυρει, δια τον θανατον τε Ιησε ταυτα αυτοις Yeveodai. In Ev. p. 762. A.

Eυρομεν εν Ιωσηπον, τον συγγραφεα της αλωσεως Ιεροσολύμων (ου μνημην πολλην Ευσεβιος ο Ιαμφιλε εν τη εκκλησιασικη αυτ8 ισορια ποιειται) φανερως λεγοντα εν τοις της αιχμαλωσιας αυτ8 υπομνημασιν, οτι Ιησες εν τω ιερα μετα των ιερεων ηγιαζε. Suid. V. Ιησες.

* De V. I. cap. ä. To Jerom might have been added Eusebius, and divers other christian writers. Concerning Eusebius's inaccurate quotations of Josephus somewhat was said formerly, Vol. iv. p. 80, 81. And they have been observed and censured by Scaliger, and other learned moderns.

below in bis y own words: and let his judgment be added to those of Vitringa and the bishop of Gloucester above quoted.

IV. Supposing Josephus not to have said any thing of Jesus Christ, some may ask: What could be the reason of it; and how can it be accounted for?

To which I might answer, that such a question is rather more curious than judicious and important; and it may be difficult to propose a solution that shall be generally approved of. However, I shall hazard a few observations upon the point.

It is easy to believe that all Jews who were contemporary with Christ or his apostles, and did not receive Jesus as the Christ, must have been filled with much enmity against him and his followers. We are assured by early christian writers of good credit, such as? Justin Martyr, a Tertullian, and others, that the ruling part of the Jewish nation industriously spread abroad false and injurious reports among the nations concerning the followers of Jesus. But the polite and learned writers, such as Justus of Tiberias, and Josephus, might think it expedient to be silent. They had nothing to say against Jesus or the christians with an appearance of truth and credibility; they therefore thought it better to be silent, and thereby, if possible, bury them in utter oblivion.

It is not easy to account for the silence of Josephus any otherb way. Many things are omitted by him of which he

y A même dessein, de tirer avantage de Josephe, quelque main hardie a inséré dans ses Antiquités, lib. 18. C. 4, des paroles qui lui sont d'autant moins convenables, qu'elles contiennent un témoignage honorable, tant de la sonne de notre Seigneur, que de la sainteté et vérité du christianisme, de la profession duquel cet auteur a toujours été très éloigné: et d'ailleurs qu'elles sont notoirement une pièce d'attache sans liaison avec le reste de son discours, tant précédant que suivant, et placée à l'endroit qu'elle occupe par affection de parti plutôt que par raison. Blondel des Sibylles. p. 28.

2 Dial. cum Tryph. p. 234. D. Par. sect. 18. p. 102. Bened. a Ad Nat. l. i. cap. 13. p. 59. D. et adv. Marcion. 1. 3. cap. 23. p. 498.

b Le Cardinal Noris se fâche avec raison contre Joseph, de ce qu'il expédie en dix lignes les neuf années du règne d' Archélais

-pour raconter au long les deux songes, dont on a parlé cidessus. Mais on a encore plus de sujet de se plaindre de la négligence, ou plutôt du silence affecté de cet Historien, touchant le dénombrement, dont S. Luc parle, et touchant le meurtre des enfans de Bethléhem, du tems de la naissance de notre Seigneur : pour ne pas parler de sa vie, et de sa mort, dont il ne dit rien non plus: car on ne peut guère douter, que le passage, où il en est parlé, ne soit fourré, par un chrétien malhabile, dans Joseph. S'il eut dit seulement un mot du dénombrement, et du massacre de Bethlehem, on n'auroit point la peine de chercher le tems de la naissance de Notre Seigneur. Mais ce Juif malicieux a voulu, autant qu'il étoit en lui, ensevebir cette histoire dans un éternel oubli, en haine des chrétiens. Le Clerc. Bib. Ch. T. 4. Art. i. p. 74, 75.


« PreviousContinue »