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  1. Admin, how do you think that the last part could mean "to Caesar"? Isn't Καίσαρος genitive, making this "Coponius' opinion of Caesar"? ...λώσσης διδάξοντας τὸν Καίσαρα τὴν κακίαν τοῦ Ἀντιπάτρου καὶ Κωπωνίου γνώμη τὴν Καίσαρος. Or do you think that this could somehow be dative (to Caesar) like in Mark 12:17, αὐτοῖς Τὰ Καίσαρος ἀπόδοτε Καίσαρι (Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's) It looks like Josephus' sentence literally says that Herod sent messengers to inform Caesar "about the villainy of Antipater and of Coponius opinion of the Emperor/Caesar." This does not make clear sense, although conceivably Josephus could have meant to say (A) that Herod's messengers told Caesar Coponius' opinion of Caesar, (B) that Herod's messengers told Caesar Coponius' opinion about Antipater, (C) that they told Caesar of the villainy both of Antipater and of Coponius for Caesar's judgment, or (D) that they told Caesar about the villainy of Antipater and told Coponius the judgment of Caesar.
  2. Good input, thanks. Does Κωπωνίου mean "Coponius' " as a possessive? I am trying to see why you read that as Coponius' opinion, rather than an accusative case grammatically, as in: "the wickedness of Antipater and [to inform] Coponius [of] the judgment of Caesar""
  3. In Book XVII, Chapter V.7 of his Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus writes about Herod's detention of Antipater: δήσας δὲ αὐτὸν εἰς Ῥώμην ὡς Καίσαρα ἐκπέμπει γράμματα περὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ τοὺς ἀπὸ γλώσσης διδάξοντας τὸν Καίσαρα τὴν κακίαν τοῦ Ἀντιπάτρου καὶ Κωπωνίου γνώμη τὴν Καίσαρος. In Loeb's edition, Ralph Marcus translates the sentence as: Marcus writes that the underlined Greek text is unintelligble and comes at the end of the sentence above. He includes this note: "codd.: om. PE Lat. : secl. edd." I take this to mean that the Latin books omit this ending. Κωπωνίου means Coponius. Earlier, in Book XIV, Chapter 8, Josephus had quoted the Roman senate's decree that was favorable to the Jews, which said, "There were present at the writing of this decree Lucius Coponius, the son of Lucius of the Colline tribe". Later, Josephus wrote that Coponius arrived with Cyrenius to take power in Judea. Under John Rhoad's theory, Cyrenius ruled Judea in Herod's time, and the underlined sentence would help confirm this theory. γνώμη is a Greek noun meaning judgment, opinion, decision. (https://biblehub.com/greek/1106.htm) τὴν means "the". Καίσαρος means Caesar. So word for word, doesn't the underlined ending mean "... and Coponius the judgment Caesar"? So is the best interpretation that Josephus saying that Herod sent messengers to inform Caesar of "the wickedness of Antipater and [to inform] Coponius [of] the judgment of Caesar"?
  4. Thanks for explaining. I agree. The text says that they have it, but it isn't clearly saying that they wrote it. eg. "I have the days of the year set down in my calendar." But I wasn't the one who put the days in the calendar.
  5. Hippolytus of Rome in the 3rd century noted how the Gospel of the Egyptians, possessed by the Naassene sect, described changes of the soul. Hippolytus wrote about the Naassenes: How would you literally translate the underlined sentence above? Ben Smith, on his Text Excavations website, translates this so that it isn't clear if it means that the Naassenes wrote about the soul in the Gospel "According to the Egyptians", or just that the Naassenes have this book: J.H. MacMahon, in "Ante-Nicene Fathers", Vol. 5., translates it similarly: M.R. James in The Apocryphal New Testament translates it similarly: Otto Bardenhewer, in his book Patrology: The Lives and Works of the Fathers of the Church takes it to mean that the Naassenes only used the book, as opposed to authoring it: "Hippolytus says that the Naassenes made use of expressions from the Gospel of the Egyptians in defence of their theories on the soul (and the transmigration of souls?)." But G. R. Mead, in his book "Thrice Greatest Hermes", translates it to mean that the Naassenes themselves wrote this in the Gospel According to the Egyptians, meaning that they authored the book: "These variegated metamorphoses they have laid down in the Gospel superscribed 'According to the Egyptians.'" G.R. Mead commented about the Gospel's origins: "We, however, here learn that it described the matamorphoses of the soul. It was a Gospel having its origin in Egypt and suited to Egyptian modes of thought. It follows, therefore, that the doctrine of the soul's transformation was Egyptian."
  6. The Christian Sibylline Oracles are a set of Christian poems written in Greek in the style of pagan oracles. The original pagan Sibylline oracles are lost to us except for some fragments. The oracles that have survived in a complete form were composed or edited by Christian writers in 80-250 AD. Those surviving 14 "Books" / Volumes of the Sibylline Oracles, translated by Milton Terry (1899), along with 7 fragments found in Lactantius and Theophilus of Antioch, can be found here: http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/sib/ (Question 1) Why should the second half of Book VIII have been written a century after the first half as the Catholic Encyclopedia claims? Is the claim about the century-long difference based only on the supposition that the first part is from the 2nd century and Jewish, and that the second part is Christian and therefore must be written much later? The Catholic Encyclopedia suggests that Books I,II, VI,VII,VIII, XI, XII, XIII, and XIV are Christian or Christianized, and that VI,VIII,XI,XIV likely date to the 2nd to 4th centuries. For example, it says: "Book VIII offers peculiar difficulties; the first 216 verses are most likely the work of a second century AD Jew, while the latter part (verses 217-500) beginning with an acrostic on the symbolical Christian word Icthus is undoubtedly Christian, and dates most probably from the third century AD." (SOURCE: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13770a.htm) James Charlesworth writes in his book "The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha": (Question 2) What does the Sibylline Hexameter sound like in Greek? In translating the Sibylline Oracles, Milton Terry commented that the English language naturally fits a Pentameter structure, whereas the Greek language fits hexameter. So when he made his translation of the Oracles, he deliberately translated them into English with a Pentameter verse from the Greek original, which was in hexameter. So I would like to hear the Sibylline Oracles read in Greek hexameter. Are there recordings of this? The Karavaki blog discusses the Sibylline oracles in Greek and has excerpts from it ("Ποιές ήταν οι Σίβυλλες; Τι έλεγαν για τον Αδάμ και τον Χριστό; Ο χρησμός του Απόλλωνα", 12/01/2014, LINK: https://karavaki.wordpress.com/2014/01/12/sibylle/) Homer's Odyssey and Iliad were written in Hexameter. The first 21 lines of Homer's Odyssey is read here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d39VrPwBGkQ Excerpts from the Iliad can be heard here: https://www.podium-arts.com/3346/iliad-excerpts-16-feb-15/ Prof. Leonard Mueller explains Dactylic Hexameter and gives a reading here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4trBxZyjkk I don't know if the following songs actually quote the Sibyl: Maria Farantouri's song "Oracles of the Sibyl": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mC6k5wBrS4 Her 2011 performance of the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGa06iFcqtk Merlin Beggar's "Son of the Sybil" song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G26WoSqpiGw Nenas Venetsanou's 1982 "Oracles of the Sybil": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqqMB4hSa70 (Question 3) What other early Christian writings besides the Sibylline Oracles described the "cessation of prophets"? Book I of the Christian Sibyllines appears to describe the foundation of the church of the Christians who follow the New Covenant, then the leading of the church by the apostles, then maybe the killing or suppression of the apostles by governments, then the defeat of the Judean rebels and looting of Judea by Rome's armies, all of which happened in the 1st century: Charlesworth ascribes the looting by the Romans in the final verse above to what occurred under Vespasian in c. 70 AD. Peter, Paul, and James had been killed earlier, in c.62-63 AD. So I get the sense that the passage means that the "prophets" ceased (eg. with the deaths of leading apostles like Paul, Peter, and James), then a Roman leader (ie. Vespasian) destroyed and looted the Temple. The best example of early writings describing the Cessation of prophets that comes to mind is the commentary by St. John Chrysostom or St. Augustine that in the beginning period of Christianity's spread, miracles and signs were used, but that after the Church got founded and strong enough, the Church switched to emphasizing reason and logic to spread its message. (Question 4) How should a good person address this personal and emotional challenge of dealing with past trauma? Book II of the Sibyllines says, "Do not vex thy heart With evils that are past; for what is done Can never be undone." This is hard because there is trauma that has been done to people and even if one doesn't desire revenge, the trauma can still be hard to deal with. Consider for example how in Revelation, the martyrs cry out to God for justice. (Question 5) Can you please explain William Deane's sentence below about editors adding in verses? William Deane writes in his book "Pseudepigrapha" about Book IV of the Christian Sibylline Oracles: Does Deane mean that an epilogue in Book IV was copied in a longer form into the Apostolic Constitutions and that afterwards the editors of Book IV ("the latter"?) inserted this longer form into Book IV, thinking that the Apostolic Constitutions were sufficient authority for the insertion? (Question 6) Have you heard of the idea that Christ's cross was taken to heaven, which is mentioned in Book 6? Book VI has an address to the Cross: James Charlesworth writes in his book "The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha" regarding this passage: "The idea expressed in verse 37, that the cross would be taken up to heaven, was popular in later Christian writings."(For this he cites: Rzach-Wissowa 2A, col. 2141.)
  7. Admin, Thanks for your answers! Regarding Question #2, the best Greek text that the scholars have to go by is the quote by Julius Africanus in Question #1, where Julius writes: " τουτο το σκοτος εκλειψιν " Julius Africanus was describing what Thallus wrote where Thallus referred to the event as: " τουτο το σκοτος εκλειψιν "
  8. Thallus was an ancient Greek scholar who wrote Histories in three volumes. In one passage in his Histories, he described an event of darkness that he labeled or dismissed as an eclipse. Julius Africanus, the 2nd-3rd century Christian writer, said that he was talking about the darkness at Jesus' death. In other known passages by Thallus, Thallus says that certain mythical figures were real life people: There are other numerous surviving passages where Thallus talks about legendary Greek figures like Cronus and the Titans having battles with kings only a few centuries before the battle of Troy. And Tertullian in Apologeticus writes: It would therefore be in the nature of Thallus' writing for Thallus to address the issue of the darkness in c.33 AD and dismiss it as a natural phenomenon. (Question) What is the ending date for the chronology of Thallus' writings? According to the surviving, Armenian version of Eusebius' Chronicle, Eusebius (as quoted below) wrote that Thallus collected events up to 109 BC: Here is another translation: Wikipedia notes that Eusebius' George Syncellus quoted Julius Africanus as saying that Thallus had written about the darkness that happened during Jesus' crucifixion. Here is the quote from Julius Africanus: You can read my thread about this quote from Julius Africanus here: hellenism.net/greek-forum/topic/22633-the-historian-thallus-2nd-cent-bc-2nd-c-ad-3-questions/ A date of 92 AD. would make more sense as it comes after the time of Christ. Glenn Miller writes: "Eusebius tells us that this Thallus wrote in Greek an account of world history from the fall of Troy down to the mid-first century--c.52 CE."(http://christianthinktank.com/jrthal.html) 52 CE would be the 202nd Olympiad. Miller cites "Murray Harris, JSOTGP5:344" Unfortunately, I can't find Harris' article. If the date in the Armenian text is correct and Thallus narrated up to the 167th Olympiad of the Greek calendar, then Africanus was likely mistaken in seeing in Thallus' words a reference to the darkness in the Passion story.
  9. (Question 3) Does the Greek text in Josephus' Antiquities (below) sound completely normal if one reads "allos" as "another", or does "Allos" better signify a proper name, such as Hallos or Thallos? Whiston proposed that Thallus was originally mentioned in Josephus' Antiquities, Book 18, but the surviving Greek text doesn't have that. The decision to switch allos to Thallos was made as an emendation by an 18th c. writer, John Hudson. According to the grammar, should "allos" refer to a proper name or be a miswriting of "Thallos"?The German scholar F. Jacoby refers to Richard Carrier writes:
  10. (Question 2) Perhaps "eklipontos" or the "eclipsing" of the sun does not necessarily mean that the sun was eclipsed by the moon and could mean that it was eclipsed by a cloud cover? Dr. Jeannie Constantinou quotes and explains St John Chrysostom as saying that it was not an eclipse, but an "unnatural" event: Interestingly, Luke's gospel likely does say that the sun was eclipsed: For a literal "eclipse" to occur of the sun in the middle of the month of Nisan (ie. during Passover in 33 AD), some giant piece of matter would have to come between the earth and the sun in order to eclipse the sun's light. For the moon to literally do this, the moon would have to be transported extremely quickly around the earth and drastically out of its normal orbit. Such a transportation would be considered a paranormal or supernatural event considering the extremity of the move.
  11. (Question 1) Which translation of Julius Africanus' sentence about Thallus do you think is best?[/b] Sextus Julius Africanus (c. 160 – c. 240), in the course of discussing momentous events during Jesus' crucifixion, commented on the Greek historian Thallus' reference to an ancient moment of darkness that Thallus called an eclipse. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson translate the sentence as: "This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun." Ben Smith's translation of Africanus' commentary on Thallus makes it sound like Thallus was dismissing the darkness as a natural phenomenon: " In the third book of his Histories Thallus dismisses this darkness as a solar eclipse, unreasonably, as it seems to me."(http://www.textexcavation.com/thallustestimonium.html)The Christian Think Tank site notes that what was in question for Africanus was the cause of the eclipse, not whether the darkness had occurred: Origen also said that pagans were trying to dismiss the darkness in the Passion story as a natural eclipse. Perhaps Thallus' writing could be one such example. Dale Allison writes in the book The Historical Jesus in Context, "the fact that [Africanus] states his disagreement with Thallus' interpretation - 'This it seems to me, is contrary to reason' - strongly implies that Thallus was offering a mundane explanation for what happened when Jesus died. "(p. 405) It could be that Thallus said that an eclipse occurred in the early-mid first century and that Africanus proposed that this was the darkness in the crucifixion and called it an unlikely explanation. But I agree with Allison that it's most likely that Thallus was explaining away the darkness as a natural eclipse in order to provoke this reaction by Africanus.


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