posted on Mar, 1 2016 @ 11:59 AM
Book XVIII of Josephus' Antiquities
is the home of the famous or notorious Flavian Testimony, at least in parts a pious Christian forgery in
its current form. Along with a parenthetical mention of Jesus in apparent (but not certainly authentic) connection with James the Just in Book XX,
these are the only surviving non-Christian mentions of Jesus dated from the First Century.
Immediately following the FT in our current version of the Antiquities
is a leisurely-told bawdy tale, The Seduction of Paulina. Paulina's
story seems to have slipped about 600 words in the text. It belongs with the death of Germanicus, which immediately precedes Josephus' discussion of
Even placed in the text correctly, The Seduction reads like fiction. Our current version may be an improvement on a much shorter genuine mention of
the subject by Josephus (one of the theories also heard about the FT) or it may be an outright insertion (the other major theory of the FT). If it's
genuine, then Josephus should have gone into show business.
One barrier to easy discussion of the FT is its religious dimension - what somebody thinks about Jesus is a good predictor of what they think about
the FT. Well, unless you're into Isis, The Seduction of Paulina riases many of the same issues as the FT, without the (ir)religious commitment. At
stake is the reliability of Jospehus as a historical source, and the fidelity with which his writing reaches us.