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especial manner, we are to remember that such is his name and character in the gospel according to the Hebrews, and the other Ebionite remains of Hegesippus, but no where else, that I remember, in the earliest antiquity; nor are we to suppose they herein referred to any other than that righteousness which was by the Jewish law, wherein St. Paul”, before he embraced Christianity, professeth himself to have been blameless. Thus when Josephus, with other Jews, ascribed the miseries of that mation under Wespasian and Titus, with the destruction of Jerusalem, to the barbarous murder of James the Just, we must remember, what we learn from the Ebionite fragments of Hegesippus, that these Ebionites interpreted a prophecy of Isaiah as foretelling this very murder, and those consequent miseries: Let us take away the just one, for he is unprofitable to us; therefore shall they eat the fruits of their own ways+. Thus when Josephus says, as we have seen, that the most equitable citizens of Jerusalem, and those that were most zealous of the law, were very uneasy at the condemnation of this James and some of his friends or fellow Christians, by the high priest and sanhedrim, about A. D. 62, and declares, that he himself was one of those Jews who thought the terrible miseries of that nation effects of the vengeance of God for their murder of this James, about A. D. 68, we may easily see those opinions could only be the opinions of converted Jews or Ebionites. The high priest and sanhedrim, who always prosecuted the Christians, and now condemned these Christians, and the body of those unbelieving Jews, who are supposed to suffer for murdering this James, the head of the Nazarene or Ebionite Christians in Judea, could not, to be sure, be of that opinion; nor could Josephus himself be of the same opinion, as he declares he was, without the strongest inclinations to the Christian religion, or without being secretly a Christian Jew, i.e. a Nazarene or Ebionite; which thing is, by the way, a very great additional argument that such he was, and no other. Thus, lastly, when Josephus is cited in Suidas as affirming that Jesus officiated with the priests in the temple, this account is by no means disagreeable to the pretensions of the Ebionites. Hegesippus affirms the very same of James the Just also. VI. The first citation of the famous testimony concerning our Saviour from Tacitus, almost all that was true of the Jews is directly taken by him out of Josephus, as will be demonstrated under the third Dissertation hereafter. VII. The second author I have alleged for it is Justin Martyr, one so nearly coeval with Josephus, that he might be born about the time when he wrote his Antiquities, appeals to the same Antiquities by that very name: and though he does not here directly quote them, yet does he seem to me to allude to this very testi* Philipp. iii. 4–6. + Is. iii. 10.
mony in them concerning our Saviour, when he affirms in this place to Trypho the Jew, That his nation originally knew that Jesus was risen from the dead, and ascended into heaven, as the prophecies did so was to happen. Since there neither now is, nor probably in the days of Justin was any other Jewish testimony extant, which is so agreeable to what Justin here affirms of those Jews, as is this of Josephus the Jew before us; nor indeed does he seem to me to have had any thing else particularly in his view here, but this very testimony, where Josephus says, that Jesus appeared to his followers alive the third day after his crucifixion, as the divine prophets had foretold these, and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. VIII. The third author I have quoted for Josephus's testimonies of John the Baptist, of Jesus of Nazareth, and of James the Just, is Origen, who is indeed allowed on all hands to have quoted him for the excellent characters of John the Baptist, and of James the Just, but whose supposed entire silence about this testimony concerning Christ is usually alleged as the principal argument against its being genuine, and particularly as to the clause, This was the Christ, and that, as we have seen, because he twice assures us, that, in his opinion, Josephus did not himself acknowledge Jesus for Christ. Now as to this latter clause, I have already showed, that Josephus did not here, in writing to Greeks and Romans, mean any such thing by those words as Jews and Christians naturally understand by them: I have also observed, that all the ancients allow still, with Origen, that Josephus did not, in the Jewish and Christian sense, acknowledge Jesus for the true Messiah, or the true Christ of God, notwithstanding their express quotation of that clause in Josephus as genuine; so that unless we suppose Origen to have had a different notion of these words from all the other ancients, we cannot conclude from this assertion of Origen's, that he had not those words in his copy, not to say that it is, after all, much more likely that his copy a little differed from the other copies in this clause, or indeed, omitted it entirely, than that he, on its account, must be supposed not to have had the rest of this testimony therein, though indeed I see no necessity of making any such supposal at all. However, it seems to me, that Origen affords us four several indications that the main parts at least of this testimony itself were in his copy. (1.) When Origen introduces Josephus's testimony concerning James the Just, that he thought the miseries of the Jews were an instance of the divine vengeance on that nation for putting James to death instead of Jesus, he uses an expression no way necessary to his purpose, nor occasioned by any words of Josephus there, that they had slain that Christ which was foretold in the prophecies. Whence could this expression come here into Origen's mind, when he was quoting a testimony of Josephus’s concerning the brother of Christ, but from his remembrance of a clause in the testimony of the same Josephus concerning Christ himself, that the prophets had foretold his death and resurrection, and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him?
(2.) How came Origen to be so surprised at Josephus's ascribing the destruction of Jerusalem to the Jews murdering of James the Just, and not to their murdering of Jesus, as we have seen he was, if he had not known that Josephus had spoken of Jesus and his death before, and that he had a very good opinion of Jesus, which yet he could learn no way so authentically as from this testimony Nor do the words he here uses, that Josephus was not remote from the truth, perhaps allude to any thing else but to this very testimony before us.
(8.) How came the same Origen, upon another slight occasion, when he had just set down that testimony of Josephus concerning James the Just, the brother of Jesus who was called Christ, to say, that it may be questioned whether the Jews thought Jesus to be a man, or ...! they did not suppose him to be a being of a diviner kind? This %. so very like to the fifth and sixth clauses of this testimony in Josephus, that Jesus was a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, that it is highly probable Origen thereby alluded to them: and this is the more to be depended on, because all the unbelieving Jews, and all the rest of the Nazarene Jews, esteemed Jesus with one consent as a mere man, the son of Joseph and Mary; and it is not, I think, possible to produce any one Jew but Josephus, who in a sort of compliance with the Romans and the catholic Christians, who thought him a God, would say any thing like his being a God.
(4.) How came Origen to affirm twice, so expressly, that Josephus did not himself own, in the Jewish and Christian sense, that Jesus was Christ, notwithstanding his quotations of such eminent testimonies out of him for John the Baptist his forerunner, and for James the Just his brother, and one of his principal disciples? There is no passage in all Josephus so likely to persuade Origen of this as is the famous testimony before us, wherein, as he and all the ancients understood it, he was generally called Christ indeed, but not any otherwise than as the common name whence the sect of Christians was derived, and where he all along speaks of those Christians as a sect then in being, whose author was a wonderful person, and his followers great lovers of him and of the truth, yet as such a sect as he had not joined himself to ; which exposition, as it is a very natural one, so was it, I doubt, but too true of our Josephus at that time; nor can I devise any other reason but this, and the parallel language of Josephus elsewhere, when he speaks of James as the brother, not of Jesus who was Christ, but of Jesus who was called Christ, that could so naturally induce Origen and others to be of that opinion.
IX. There are two remarkable passages in Suidas and Theophylact, already set down, as citing Josephus; the former that Jesus officiated with the priests in the temple, and the latter that the destruction of Jerusalem, and miseries of the Jews, were owing to their putting Jesus to death, which are in none of our present copies, nor cited thence by any ancienter authors; nor, indeed, do they seem altogether consistent with the other more authentic testimonies: however, since Suidas cites his passage from a treatise of Josephus's called Memoirs of the Jews' Captivity, a book never heard of elsewhere, and since both citations are not at all disagreeable to Josephus's character as a Nazarene or Ebionite, I dare not positively conclude they are spurious, but must leave them in suspense, for the farther consideration of the learned.
X. As to that great critic Photius, in the ninth century, who is supposed not to have had this testimony in his copy of Josephus, or else to have esteemed it spurious, because in his extracts out of Josephus's Antiquities it is not expressly mentioned; this is a strange thing indeed! that a section which had been cited out of Josephus's copies all along before the days of Photius, as well as it has been all along cited out of them since his days, should be supposed not to be in his copy, because he does not directly mention it in certain short and imperfect extracts, no way particularly relating to such matters. Those who lay a stress on this silence of Photius seem little to have attended to the nature and brevity of those extracts. They contain little or nothing, as he in effect professes at their entrance, but what concerns Antipater, Herod the Great, and his brethren and family, with their exploits, till the days of Agrippa jun. and Cumanus, the governor of Judea, fifteen years after the death of our Saviour, without one word of Pilate, or what happened under his government, which yet was the only proper place in which this testimony could come to be mentioned. However, since Photius seems, therefore, as we have seen, to suspect the treatise ascribed by some to Josephus, of the Universe, because it speaks very high things of the eternas generation and divinity of Christ, this looks very like his knowledge and belief of somewhat really in the same Josephus, which spake in a lower manner of him, which could be hardly any other passage than this testimony before us. And since, as we have also seen, when he speaks of the Jewish history of Justus of Tiberias, as infected with the prejudices of the Jews, in taking no manner of notice of the advent, of the acts, and of the miracles of Jesus Christ, while yet he never speaks so of Josephus himself, this most naturally implies also, that there was not the like occasion here as there, but that Josephus had not wholly omitted that advent, those acts, or miracles, which yet he has done everywhere else, in the books seen by Photius, as well as Justus of
Tiberias, but in this famous testimony before us, so that it is most probable Photius not only had this testimony in his copy, but believed it to be genuine also. XI. 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 he 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. XII. Nor does the like silence of Tertullian imply that these testimonies, or any of them, were not in the copies of his age. Tertullian never once hints at any treatises of Josephus's but those against Apion, and that in general only for a point of chronology: nor does it any way appear that Tertullian ever saw any of Josephus's writings besides, and far from being certain that be saw even those. He had particular occasion in his dispute against the Jews to quote Josephus, above any other writer, to prove the completion of the prophecies of the Old Testament in the destruction of Jerusalem, and miseries of the Jews at that time, of which he there discourses, yet does he never once quote him upon that solemn occasion; so that it seems to me, that Tertullian never read either the Greek Antiquities of Josephus, or his Greek books of the Jewish wars; nor is this at all strange in Tertullian, a Latin writer, that lived in Africa, by none of which African writers is there any one clause, that I know of, cited out of any of Josephus's writings: nor is it worth my while, in such numbers of positive citations of these clauses, to mention the silence of other later writers, as being here of very small consequence.
Concerning God's Command to ABRAHAM to offer up Is AAc his Son for a Sacrifice.
SINCE this command of God to Abraham * has of late been greatly mistaken by some, who venture to reason about very ancient facts from very modern notions, and this without a due regard to either the customs, or opinions, or circumstances of the times whereto those facts belong, or indeed to the true reasons of the facts themselves; since the mistakes about those customs, opinions, circumstances, and reasons have of late so far prevailed, that the very same action of Abraham's, which was so celebrated by St. Paul +, St. Jamesi, the author to the
* Gen. xxii. + Rom. iv. 16–25. f James, ii. 21. 32.