|January 27th, 2011||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2010
"Caesar's " Messiah
Although he titles it a Roman conspiracy the evidence he presents is for a Jewish one.
Worth a read and he definitely uncovers new stuff about Josephus.
To demonstrate that Christianity's divine origin parallels
Judaism's, the authors of Christianity took the events from the story
of the original Exodus that had numbers associated with them and
inserted those numbers into their story of the birth of Christianity.
In other words, since God gave the law to Moses fifty days after the
first Passover, Christianity would give the "new" law 50 days after
its Passover, the crucifixion of Jesus.
On the day that the law of Moses was given, 3,000 died for wor-
shipping the golden calf.185 On the day the "spirit" was given to the
disciples of Christ, 3,000 were added into Christ and received life,186
signifying that the improved covenant with God brought life.
These parallels were obviously created to establish Christianity
as the new Judaism. The Gospels and the writings of Josephus work
together to this end. The New Testament records the birth of the
new Judaism while the history of Josephus records the "death" of
Second Temple Judaism.
All the parallels I have given above, between Christianity and
Judaism and between Jesus and Moses, are well known. In addition,
the authors of the Gospels also established something else hereto-
fore unknown. By mirroring the sequence found in the story of Exo-
dus and by establishing Jesus' crucifiction as a new Passover, they
established a continuum, one that mirrored the story of the Israelites
leaving Egypt and "wandering" until they were permitted to enter
the promised land forty years after the first Passover. As with the
time sequence for the fulfillment of the prophecies of Daniel, once
the continuum of the "new Exodus" had begun, there could be no
stopping until all had come to pass.
What is the conclusion to the forty years of wandering in the
New Testament? Since the Gospels end shortly after Jesus' death,
where is the conclusion to Christianity's forty year Exodus recorded?
The answer is found within War of the Jews.
To conclude Christianity's forty-year cycle, Josephus links the
date of Jesus' crucifixion to the date he established for the destruc-
tion of Masada. Josephus "records" that the year the stronghold was
destroyed was 73 C.E. Scholars, citing archeological evidence, often
date the fall of Masada to 74, not 73 C.E. They may well be correct,
but Josephus was interested not in recording history but in creating
Building Jesus 281
mythology. He therefore entitled the chapter that contains the pas-
sage describing Masada's destruction as follows:
Concerning the interval of about three years: from the taking of
Jerusalem by Titus to the sedition of the Jews at Cyrene.187
Josephus does not need to be any more precise than he is in the
phrase "about three years." If his time span is inaccurate, and it
surely is, who had been there to point out his error? Josephus is only
interested in using "history" to convey his message. In this instance,
he wishes the reader to believe that Masada fell three and a half years
after the destruction of the temple, that is, in 73 C.E.
Josephus then gives the day and month of the conclusion to the
siege at Masada.
They then chose ten men by lot out of them to slay all the
rest; every one of whom laid himself down by his wife and
children on the ground, and threw his arms about them,
and they offered their necks to the stroke of those who by
lot executed that melancholy office; and when these ten
had, without fear, slain them all, they made the same rule
for casting lots for themselves, that he whose lot it was
should first kill the other nine, and after all should kill him-
self. . . . Those others were nine hundred and sixty in num-
ber, the women and children being withal included in that
computation. This calamitous slaughter was made on the
fifteenth day of the month Xanthicus [Nisan].
Josephus records that the fourteenth of Nisan is the day when
the Jews celebrated Passover. The Gospel of John states that Jesus
was crucified on the thirteenth of Nisan and arose on the fifteenth.
The fifteenth of Nisan, 73 C.E., is forty years to the day after Christ's
resurrection. Only readers of both the Gospels and Josephus would
be aware of this exact forty-year time span.
In other words, the Gospel of John establishes the date of Jesus'
resurrection as the fifteenth of Nisan, 33 C.E., and Josephus estab-
lishes the date of the end of the Jewish war as the fifteenth of Nisan,
73 C.E. It is only when the two works are read together that readers
are able to understand that it was, just as Jesus had predicted, exactly
forty years between the two events. Again, either Josephus inadver-
282 CAESAR'S MESSIAH
tently recorded something truly supernatural, or the two works had
been aligned to create this effect.
There is another parallel between the signs in Matthew 23 and
the signs in Josephus. I will analyze it separately because of its
unique comic nature. This parallel has long puzzled scholars. The
confusion has been due to its not being understood both as a joke
and as another of the parallels between Jesus' ministry and Titus'
campaign, that which were created to give their two stories the same
In the Gospels, Jesus states
You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape
being sentenced to hell?
Until All Is Fulfilled 193
Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and
scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some
you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from
town to town,
that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed
on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of
Zechari'ah the son of Barachi'ah, whom you murdered
between the sanctuary and the altar.
Truly, I say to you, all this will come upon this generation.
In War of the Jews Josephus writes:
And now these zealots and Idumeans were quite weary of
barely killing men, so they had the impudence of setting up
fictitious tribunals and judicatures for that purpose; and as
they intended to have Zacharias the son of Baruch, one of
the most eminent of the citizens, slain, so what provoked
them against him was, that hatred of wickedness and love
of liberty which were so eminent in him . . .
Now the seventy judges brought in their verdict that the
person accused was not guilty, as choosing rather to die
themselves with him, than to have his death laid at their
doors; hereupon there arose a great clamor of the zealots
upon his acquittal, and they all had indignation at the
judges for not understanding that the authority that was
given them was but in jest. So two of the boldest of them
fell upon Zacharias in the middle of the temple, and slew
him; and as he fell down dead, they bantered him, and said,
"Thou hast also our verdict, and this will prove a more sure
acquittal to thee than the other." . . .
As I have pointed out, Matthew 24 is a continuation of the same
speech Jesus begins in Matthew 23. Jesus leaves the interior of the
temple, where the dialogue of Matthew 23 occurs, and then contin-
ues this speech (Matthew 24) outside the temple. Therefore, the par-
allel between Zacharias, son of Barachiah, and Zacharias, son of
Baruch, both slain in the temple, should be understood to be in the
194 CAESAR'S MESSIAH
same stream of prophecy Jesus gives in Matthew 24, because it is
from the same speech. In light of the numerous parallels in Matthew
24 and War of the Jews, we are on solid footing when we understand
this to be another example of Jesus "seeing" something in the future
that Josephus documents.
There is a problem with accepting that the parallel belongs in
the same set as Jesus' famous eschatological prophecies, however.
The character that Jesus refers to appeared not in his future but in
his past. The prophet "Zachari'ah the son of Barachi'ah" is a charac-
ter from the Old Testament, so how can Jesus be foreseeing him in
the future? Further, how could Josephus then record that Jesus was
right, that Zacharias' death occurred in 70 C.E., along with the other
prophecies envisioned by Jesus in Matthew 23 and 24?
I include Whiston's fascinating comment regarding the passage
from Josephus. He was aware of the parallel between the Zacharias
in Josephus and the Zachari'ah in the New Testament and was trou-
bled by its implications.
Some commentators are ready to suppose that this
"Zacharias, the son of Baruch," here most unjustly slain by
the Jews in the temple, was the very same person with
"Zacharias, the son of Barachias," whom our Savior says
the Jews "slew between the temple and the altar," Matthew
23:35. This is a somewhat strange exposition; since
Zechariah the prophet was really "the son of Barachiah,"
and "grandson of Iddo," Zechariah 1:1; and how he died, we
have no other account than that before us in St. Matthew:
while this "Zacharias" was "the son of Baruch." Since the
slaughter was past when our Savior spake these words, the
Jews had then already slain him; whereas this slaughter of
"Zacharias, the son of Baruch," in Josephus, was then
about thirty-four years future. And since the slaughter was
"between the temple and the altar," in the court of the
priests, one of the most sacred and remote parts of the
whole temple; while this was, in Josephus' own words, in
the middle of the temple, and much the most probably in
the court of Israel only (for we have had no intimation that
the zealots had at this time profaned the court of the
priests. See B. V. ch. 1. sect. 2). Nor do I believe that our
Until All Is Fulfilled 195
Josephus, who always insists on the peculiar sacredness of
the inmost court, and of the holy house that was in it, would
have omitted so material an aggravation of this barbarous
murder, as perpetrated in a place so very holy, had that
been the true place of it.
Thus, Whiston attempts to explain away the troubling parallel
by arguing that the slaying of Zacharias in Josephus could not be the
incident that Jesus prophesied because
1) Zacharias the prophet died before Jesus' birth.
2) Barachiah and Baruch are different words.
3) The "middle of the temple" is not "between the temple and
Whiston's first point is irrelevant. His second ignores the many
slight changes in spelling between the same words in Josephus and
the New Testament. For example, a type of fish from the Sea of
Galilee is spelled "Coracin" in Josephus and "Chora'zin" in the New
Testament. His third point, regarding the possible differences in the
location of the slayings, is contradictory of his acceptance of the
other parallels between the same passages in the New Testament and
Josephus as evidence of Christ's divinity.
Further, it is obvious that Jesus' prophecy regarding, "Zechar-
i'ah the son of Barachi'ah, whom you murdered between the sanctu-
ary and the altar,"134 would have been understood by an uneducated
first-century convert to Christianity as having come to pass by the
passage in Josephus that states, "so two of the boldest of them fell
upon Zacharias (the son of Baruch) in the middle of the temple, and
Josephus and the New Testament consistently avoid verbatim
parallels by one degree. In the chapter ahead on the Book of Daniel,
Jesus speaks of the "abomination of desolation," while Josephus
refers to the "end of the daily sacrifice." In fact, both expressions
refer the same thing. Someone to whom the two works would be
read would then make the connection between the "different" terms
and thereby come to the conclusion that Jesus had been able to see
into the future. By means of this name-switching technique, the
authors of the New Testament and Josephus playfully hide the fact
196 CAESAR'S MESSIAH
from the uneducated masses for which Christianity was invented
that the same source created both works. As I have shown above,
Simon becomes Peter, John becomes "the disciple Jesus loved," etc.
The two passages above regarding Zacharias use this technique.
Jesus uses the expression "between the sanctuary and the altar,"
while Josephus uses the expression "middle of the temple." Jesus
speaks of "Zechari'ah the son of Barachi'ah." Josephus refers to
"Zacharias the son of Baruch." Different words again express the
Since Jesus' eschatological prophecies all came to pass in the
same chapter from War of the Jews, is it not more logical to presume
that the Zacharias stories are another example of this set of fulfilled
However, pursuing this line of thought was impossible for
Whiston.135 To do so, he would have had to accept that both Jesus
and Josephus were in error because they each "saw" something that
could not have happened in 70 C.E. To Whiston, Jesus could not err,
by definition, because he was God. Likewise, to Whiston, as to so
many Christian scholars, Josephus could not be mistaken because
his history records God's handiwork.
This is a demonstration of the power of the combination of the
two works. The belief that they came from two distinct sources cre-
ates the effect that they demonstrate the supernatural, which is to
say, Jesus' power of prophecy. The New Testament reveals the true
"Son of God" because Christ's predictions come true. A "historian"
records them. Josephus' histories must be accurate because they
record the works of God. Jesus predicts the events that Josephus sees.
Whiston's intellect is powerless to analyze what is right in front
of him because of the divinity that the two works "demonstrate." If
someone had suggested to Whiston that the Zacharias story in Jose-
phus and Christ's prediction regarding Zacharias in the New Testa-
ment combine to form a joke, he would not and could not have
understood such humor.
Of course, the passages would have been wickedly funny to an
intellectual at the Flavian court—one who was familiar with the Old
Testament and therefore understood the humor in the passages.
Jesus, in the midst of a series of predictions, describes something
Until All Is Fulfilled 197
that has already occurred. Josephus then "records" it coming to pass,
a second time, in the future. An absurd comic romp comparable with
the woe-saying Jesus being struck dead by a stone. Imagine someone
today who, claiming to be able to see the future, gives a list of events
that will happen in the coming century. At the end of the list, he pre-
dicts that Germany will lose World War II. The comedy is vaudevillian.
There are several points. First, the most straightforward, non-
supernatural explanation is that the same source produced both the
Zechari'ah, son of Barachi'ah, passage in the New Testament and the
Zacharias, son of Baruch, passage in Josephus. This is because it is
unlikely that two distinct authors would have made the same mis-
Further, the passages work together to create a humorous piece,
another example of the New Testament and War of the Jews produc-
ing a comic effect when read together.
The New Testament passage regarding Zacharias is also notable
in that it gives a point in time when "these things shall come upon
this generation." In other words, Jesus is predicting exactly when the
tribulation of the "wicked generation" shall occur—that is, directly
following their killing of Zacharias. David Brown wrote in 1858:
Does not this tell us plainly as words could do it, that the
whole prophecy was meant to apply to the destruction of
Jerusalem? There is but one way of setting this aside, but
how forced it is, must, I think, appear to every unbiased
mind. It is by translating, not "this generation,". . . but "this
nation shall not pass away": in other words, the Jewish
nation shall survive all the things here predicted! Nothing
but some fancied necessity, arising out of their view of the
prophecy, could have led so many sensible men to put this
gloss upon our Lord's words. Only try the effect of it upon
the perfectly parallel announcement in the previous chap-
ter: "Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers . . . Where-
fore, behold, I send you prophets, and wise men, and
scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and
some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and
persecute from city to city . . . that upon you may come all
the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of
198 CAESAR'S MESSIAH
righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, whom ye slew
between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All
these things shall come upon this generation" . . . (Matt.
xxiii. 32, 34-36). Does not the Lord here mean the then
existing generation of the Israelites? Beyond all question he
does; and if so, what can be plainer than that this is his
meaning in the passage before us?
Brown is arguing that the context of Jesus' use of the word gen-
eration in the Zacharias passage proves that Jesus is referring to the
events of 70 C.E. I could not agree more. When Jesus states that the
Jews have been wicked "from the blood of righteous Abel unto the
blood of Zacharias" and that this generation will "fill up" on the
measure of their fathers, a first-century convert to Christianity would
have understood that he was "predicting" the Jews' destruction in 70
C.E. Indeed, what other interpretation of Jesus' words is possible?
In addition, by giving "the blood of Zacharias" as the end point
of the Jews' wickedness Jesus is also clearly stating it that will be an
event immediately before the "wicked generation" will "fill up" on
their "tribulation." Jesus is clearly predicting that Zacharias' blood
will be spilled immediately before the Jews' destruction by the Romans.
This temporal parallel, that both Jesus and Josephus "saw"
Zacharias as being killed by the "wicked generation" immediately
before the destruction of the temple, is of great importance. By each
placing the destruction of Zachariah immediately before the
destruction of the temple, the authors of the New Testament and
War of the Jews create another of their "milestones," conceptually
parallel events that occur in the same sequence.
|January 27th, 2011||#2|
Join Date: Apr 2010
The relationship between Jesus and Titus begins on Mount Ger-
izzim, where Jesus calls himself "living water" on the same spot
where Jews would later die of thirst during the war. Because Titus
has not received control over the army when that battle occurs, the
authors of the Gospels have Jesus announce that "my time has not
yet come"—in other words, that his ministry had not yet begun—to
maintain the parallelism between his ministry and Titus' campaign.
Jesus then begins his ministry at the Sea of Galilee, where he
gathers in his disciples, who he calls "fishers of men." Titus also has
the "onset" of his campaign at the same location, where his "disci-
ples" become "fishers of men" by spearing Jews as they attempt to
swim for safety after the Romans sink their boats.
Jesus next encounters a possessed man at Gadara who unleashes
a "legion" of demons that possess a herd of swine and rush wildly
into the Jordan river. Titus has a strangely parallel experience at
Gadara, where one "demonically possessed" man unleashed a legion
of "demons"—that is, the Sicarii—who infect a herd of "swine"—
that is, Jewish youth. The combined group is then chased by the
Romans and rushes "like the wildest of beasts" into the Jordan river.
Following the Gadara encounter, the "son of Mary" travels to
Jerusalem where he informs his disciples that they will one day "eat
of his flesh." This prophecy comes to pass when a "son of Mary" is
eaten by his mother during Titus' siege of Jerusalem.
The Gospels next describe two assaults on the Mount of Olives,
one in which a naked man escapes and another in which the Mes-
siah is captured. These episodes parallel events on the Mount of
Olives during Titus' siege of Jerusalem, where a "naked" man—
Titus—escapes, and a Messiah is captured.
The pair of Mount of Olives assaults is followed in both the
Gospels and Titus' campaign by a description of three crucified men,
one of whom miraculously survives. In each version, an individual
named "Joseph of Arimathea" (Joseph Bar Matthias) takes the sur-
vivor down from the cross.