Monday, August 16, 2010

Reformulating Our Ideas About the Existence of a 'Second Century Josephus'

1. Clement clearly says there is a Josephus the Jew whose Jewish history calculated a Biblical chronology from the perspective of the tenth year of Antoninus
2. Eusebius and Epiphanius provide evidence that a Biblical chronology - in this case the bishops of Jerusalem - was written down to the tenth year of Antoninus by someone named Hegesippus the Jew.
3. the name 'Hegesippus' is a corruption of Josephus or in our language 'Joseph.'
4. Joseph has always been one of the most common Jewish names in all ages and all epochs. 

Therefore the obvious solution is that there were two Josephus's associated with the earliest manuscripts of the Josephan corpus - i.e. one the Christian narrator, the other the Jewish war commander. The one Josephus SUPPOSEDLY (this second 'Josephus' might have been a 'fiction' as you like to say) developing the hypomnema of the other into something resembling our current narrative. 

The idea was clearly derived from Vita where 'first century Josephus' writing in the first person attributes the Holocaust he obvious encouraged to 'another Josephus' he identifies as 'the son of a female physician.' Those bad woman doctors!

And just to state the obvious in case you missed it - the Pseudo-Hegesippus is a Josephan narrative with another 'Josephus' (here preserved in the corrupt form of 'Hegesippus') narrating the story of Josephus in the third person. None of this can be written off as a merely "hypothetical formulation." Only the connection between Clement's Biblical history written in the tenth year of Antoninus and Eusebius's Biblical history written in the tenth year of Antoninus. But if the existence of one 'second century Josephus' writing a Biblical history seems odd to people how much more so TWO second century Josephuses who wrote Biblical chronologies.

Email with comments or questions.

Stephan Huller's Observations by Stephan Huller
is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.