Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Second Line of Proof that Clement of Alexandria Used the Christianized Forgeries Later Identified as Being 'of Hegesippus' as if They Were the Original Works of Josephus

If you haven't been following my blog you'd better read my last post first before attempting this one.  This is a development of what I wrote about yesterday (or more correctly 1:45 am this morning).  

I start there with some hyperbole but that's par for the course.  I always claim of course that I have made some 'important discovery.'  Many are of interest just to me.  In this case I think I have finally proven that the texts of Josephus began life in the Church as wholesale forgeries - an original lost text by Josephus with lots and lots of Christian addition, more than anyone has imagined hitherto - written by a 'Josephus the Jew' who lived at the time of Antoninus Pius.

I think I am going to write an academic paper on this. It is amazing to see how this reference in Clement is explained away by scholars. Here are some typical examples. Some claim Clement made the mistake because he didn't have the exact text in front of him:

The earliest of the Patristic writers, Clement of Alexandria, quotes Josephus as to chronology, but it is fairly certain that he did not know the works at first hand, since the era he refers to runs from Moses to the tenth year of Antoninus, i.e. till the better part of a century after the death of Josephus. [Norman De Mattos Bentwich, Josephus p. 242]

Most however assume that Clement is actually citing from a copy of the Antiquities but don't realize how strange the material he is citing actually is:

As to the silence of Clement of Alexandria, who cites the Antiquities of Josephus, but never cites any of the testimonies now before us, it is no strange thing at all, since be never cites Josephus but once, and that for a point of chronology only, to determine how many years had passed from the days of Moses to the days of Josephus ; so that his silence may almost as well be alleged against a hundred other remarkable passages in Josephus's works as against these before us. [Josephus, William Whiston, p. 997]

It is only natural to assume that Clement is citing exactly what he read in 'Josephus' as he read in his copies of the writings of Josephus. He is not adding the reference to tenth year of Antoninus. It must have appeared in 'Josephus' (note that the author alights upon the idea that 147 CE was '77 years' from the destruction of the Jerusalem temple a significance which would have lost its meaning in Clement's age).

There however some other interesting studies by scholars including C.H Turner's study The Early Episcopal Lists where he notes:

The existence of a chronographer of the tenth year of Antoninus Pius (AD 147-148) has been assumed in explanation of the curious coincidence that both Clement of Alexandria (once) and Epiphanius (once) employ this year as a term in chronological calculations. The latter interrupts his series of bishops of Jerusalem, after the twentieth bishop Julianus, with the note 'all these down to the tenth year of A. Pius,' Haer. lxvi 1. The former tells us that ' Josephus reckons from Moses to David to the second year of Vespasian 1179 years, and from that to the tenth of Antoninus seventy-two years,' Strom, i 21 147; and as the mention of this this last date cannot come either from Josephus, who wrote half a century before it, or from Clement himself, who wrote half a century after it, it is a reasonable supposition that it is borrowed from some other intermediate writer, who will also have been the source of Epiphanius. This lost writer is conjectured by Schlatter l, following von Gutschmid, to be identical with the Judas mentioned above ; but something more than mere conjecture is wanted before we can accuse Eusebius of mistaking the tenth year of of Severus for the tenth of A. Pius. With better judgement, Harnack suggests Cassianus was the author, we have seen that Eusebius knew nothing of him ; if Judas, we must conclude that Eusebius knew next to nothing of a book which ex hypothesi he dated fifty years too late.[Journal of Theological Studies 1900 p. 193 - 194]

So Turner notices that Clement's allusion to a 'tenth year of Antoninus' in Josephus is paralleled by a reference in Eusebius and Epiphanius to a list of bishops of Jerusalem that ends in the 'tenth year of Antoninus.' Turner deals with a number of possibilities here and in a follow up essay, that Cassianus is the likeliest candidate as Eusebius's and Epiphanius's original source.

Of course the other possibility - the right possibility - that Turner doesn't even consider is that Clement and Origen were using a copy of Josephus's writings which were attributed to a 'Josephus the Jew' who in turn was mistakenly identified to have lived in the Antonine and later referenced by Eusebius as 'Hegesippus the Jew.'

Eusebius's other information about Hegesippus makes him a perfect candidate for the information about the list of bishops in Jerusalem. Eusebius earlier reports that Hegesippus's tells us about the bishops of Jerusalem at the time of Trajan as we read:

Some of these heretics, forsooth, laid an information against Symeon the son of Clopas, as being of the family of David, and a Christian. And on these charges he suffered martyrdom when he was 120 years old, in the reign of Trajan Caesar, when Atticus was consular legate in Syria. And it so happened, says the same writer, that, while inquiry was then being made for those belonging to the royal tribe of the Jews, the accusers themselves were convicted of belonging to it. With show of reason could it be said that Symeon was one of those who actually saw and heard the Lord, on the ground of his great age, and also because the Scripture of the Gospels makes mention of Mary the daughter of Clopas, who, as our narrative has shown already, was his father.

The same historian [Hegesippus] mentions others also, of the family of one of the reputed brothers of the Saviour, named Judas, as having survived until this same reign, after the testimony they bore for the faith of Christ in the time of Domitian, as already recorded.

He writes as follows: They came, then, and took the presidency of every church, as witnesses for Christ, and as being of the kindred of the Lord. And, after profound peace had been established in every church, they remained down to the reign of Trojan Caesar: that is, until the time when he who was sprung from an uncle of the Lord, the aforementioned Symeon son of Clopas, was informed against by the various heresies, and subjected to an accusation like the rest, and for the same cause, before the legate Atticus; and, while suffering outrage during many days, he bore testimony for Christ: so that all, including the legate himself, were astonished above measure that a man 120 years old should have been able to endure such torments. He was finally condemned to be crucified.

... Up to that period the Church had remained like a virgin pure and uncorrupted: for, if there were any persons who were disposed to tamper with the wholesome rule of the preaching of salvation, they still lurked in some dark place of concealment or other. But, when the sacred band of apostles had in various ways closed their lives, and that generation of men to whom it had been vouchsafed to listen to the Godlike Wisdom with their own ears had passed away, then did the confederacy of godless error take its rise through the treachery of false teachers, who, seeing that none of the apostles any longer survived, at length attempted with bare and uplifted head to oppose the preaching of the truth by preaching "knowledge falsely so called."
[Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History 3:32]

And in the passage cited by Eusebius Hegesippus makes absolutely clear that (a) he is very interested in assembling lists of espiscopal lines and (b) is Eusebius's main source of information about the bishops of Jerusalem:

"And the church of the Corinthians continued in the orthodox faith up to the time when Primus was bishop in Corinth. I had some intercourse with these brethren on my voyage to Rome, when I spent several days with the Corinthians, during which we were mutually refreshed by the orthodox faith.

On my arrival at Rome, I drew up a list of the succession of bishops down to Anicetus, whose deacon was Eleutherus. To Anicetus succeeded Soter, and after him came Eleutherus. But in the case of every succession, and in every city, the state of affairs is in accordance with the teaching of the Law and of the Prophets and of the Lord....

And after James the Just had suffered martyrdom, as had the Lord also and on the same account, again Symeon the son of Clopas, descended from the Lord's uncle, is made bishop, his election being promoted by all as being a kinsman of the Lord.

Therefore was the Church called a virgin, for she was not as yet corrupted by worthless teaching. Thebulis it was who, displeased because he was not made bishop, first began to corrupt her by stealth. He too was connected with the seven sects which existed among the people, like Simon, from whom come the Simoniani; and Cleobius, from whom come the Cleobiani; and Doritheus, from whom come the Dorithiani; and Gorthaeus, from whom come the Gortheani; Masbothaeus, from whom come the Masbothaei. From these men also come the Menandrianists, and the Marcianists, and the Carpocratians, and the Valentinians, and the Basilidians, and the Saturnilians. Each of these leaders in his own private and distinct capacity brought in his own private opinion. From these have come false Christs, false prophets, false apostles-men who have split up the one Church into parts through their corrupting doctrines, uttered in disparagement of God and of His Christ....

There were, moreover, various opinions in the matter of circumcision among the children of Israel, held by those who were opposed to the tribe of Judah and to Christ: such as the Essenes, the Galileans, the Hemerobaptists, the Masbothaei, the Samaritans, the Sadducees, the Pharisees."
[Eusebius 4:22]

Clearly then we have seen that Hegesippus takes a strong interest in emphasizing the continuity of episcopal lines dating back to apostolic witnesses. His reference to Thebulis as one who tried to corrupt the 'true episcopal line' which went through a 120 year old Simeon the son of Clopas reinforces that he must be the source for Eusebius's information about the bishops of Jerusalem.

Of course scholarship rarely takes the most sensible road. Reuterdahl (De Fontibus Hist. eccles. Euseb., p. 55) conjectures that these “writings” were found in the church of Jerusalem itself, and compares a passage in the Dem. Evang. III. 5: “The first bishops that presided there [i.e. at Jerusalem] are said to have been Jews, and their names are preserved by the inhabitants of the country.” Many have argued that if Hegesippus or any other known author had been the source of his information, Eusebius would probably have mentioned his name. But this is a silly assumption and not even worth considering.

If we actually look at what Eusebius does tell us about the succession of bishops it is clear that he did have the same list as Epiphanius (i.e. the one which ended with Judas in the tenth year of Antoninus Pius) and that is because they used the same source - i.e. Hegesippus. So we read in Book Four Chapter Five:

The (complete) chronology of the bishops of Jerusalem I have nowhere found preserved in writing; for tradition says that they were all short lived. But I have learned this much from writings, that until the siege of the Jews, which took place under Adrian, there were fifteen bishops in succession there, all of whom are said to have been of Hebrew descent, and to have received the knowledge of Christ in purity, so that they were approved by those who were able to judge of such matters, and were deemed worthy of the episcopate. For their whole church consisted then of believing Hebrews who continued from the days of the apostles until the siege which took place at this time; in which siege the Jews, having again rebelled against the Romans, were conquered after severe battles.

But since the bishops of the circumcision ceased at this time, it is proper to give here a list of their names from the beginning. The first, then, was James, the so-called brother of the Lord; the second, Symeon, the third, Justus , the fourth, Zacchæus; the fifth, Tobias; the sixth, Benjamin; the seventh, John; the eighth, Matthias; the ninth, Philip; the tenth, Seneca; the eleventh, Justus; the twelfth, Levi; the thirteenth, Ephres; the fourteenth, Joseph; and finally, the fifteenth, Judas. These are the bishops of Jerusalem that lived between the age of the apostles and the time referred to, all of them belonging to the circumcision.
[Eusebius Church History 4.5.1 - 4]

Epiphanius cites the exact same list with only minor variations but retains what must have been knowledge of the original context of the list - i.e. Hegesippus's statement that he was writing in the tenth year of Antoninus. Epiphanius's citation of the same list reads:

"I subjoin their successive episcopates one by one, beginning with the episcopate of James — < I mean the successive > bishops who were appointed in Jerusalem during each emperor's reign until the time of Aurelian and Probus, when this Mani, a Persian, became known, and produced this outlandish teaching. The list follows: 1 James, who was martyred in Jerusalem by beating with a cudgel. [He lived] until the time of Nero. 2. Symeon, was crucified under Trajan. 3. Judah 4. Zachariah 5. Tobiah 6. Benjamin 7. John, bringing us to the ninth [or] tenth year of Trajan 8. Matthias 9. Philip 10. Seneca 11. Justus, bringing us to Hadrian. 12. Levi 13. Vaphres 14. Jose 15. Judah, bringing us to the tenth (eleventh) year of Antoninus. The above were the circumcised bishops of Jerusalem. The following were gentiles ..."[Panarion, V. 19.9 - 20.15]

There can be absolutely no doubt that Epiphanius and Eusebius are using the same list. Williams simply notes that "the following list appears to be derived from a series of references in Eusebius' Chronicle."(p. 239) But the better explanation is that both Eusebius and Epiphanius are ultimately using Hegesippus as a source which explains the common reference to 'the tenth year of Antoninus' as the year the list was compiled.

There some minor variations in the list most of which can well be accounted for by assuming that Hegesippus wrote in Aramaic. Justus is called Judas by Epiphanius. Zacchæus is called Zacharias by Epiphanius. Eusebius's ᾽Εφρῆς. is identified as ᾽Ου€φρις by Epiphanius The Armenian version of the Chron. calls him Ephrem; Jerome’s version, Ephres. Syncellus calls him ᾽Εφραΐμ, which is the Hebrew form of the name. ᾽Ιωσήφ of Eusebius is called ᾽Ιωσίς by Epiphanius, and Joses by Jerome.

The point of course is that this represents a second line of proof to help prove beyond any doubt that Clement was using a copy of a text identified as having 'Hegesippus' as its author by Eusebius but that Clement himself knew it to be written by 'Josephus.'  As I noted in my last post the specific form 'Hegesippus' is an adaptation to the phonetics of Greek, to make the name sound Greek (not Latin). It is an artificial name made up by whoever edited this version of Josephus called Hegesippus. Origen must have been using the same text to get his information about the temple being destroyed because of the Jews mistreatment of James the Just..

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