Sam, Chr & Josephus

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Sat Mar 10 19:49:29 EST 2001

>At 10:49 PM 3/11/01 +0100, Ian Hutchesson wrote:
>>This won't explain, except with massive conditions, why Josephus almost always
>>agrees with either one or the other and when not, it is usually a matter of
>>epitomising. We don't have three texts of the same tradition drifting apart. We
>>have clear redactional activity.
>If it is true that "Josephus almost always agrees with either one
>or the other" (I don't really know because I've haven't checked it),
>it only means that Joseph is a middle term between Sam. and Chr.
>When one text is a middle term, as B. C. Butler (1951) pointed out
>in reference to the synoptic problem where Mark is the middle term
>between Matthew and Luke, there are a number of possible solutions:
>1. The other two text are independently dependent on the middle
>term, or upon a common source that the middle term is also dependent
>only more accurately. (Here, Jos. almost always agree with one
>or the other, because the one or the other's divergences are
>unlikely to converge.)  [Butler termed the assumption that this
>solution must be correct to the exclusion of the others the
>"Lachmann fallacy".]
>2. Josephus is dependent on Sam., and Chr. is dependent on Jos.
>(Here, Jos.'s would agree with Sam. against Chr. if Chr diverges;
>and Jos.'s would agree with Chr. against Sam. if Jos. divergers
>and Chr. follows Jos.)
>3. (Same as 2. but in the other direction) Jos. is dependent on
>Chr., and Sam. is dependent on Jos.
>4. Josephus harmonizes Sam. and Chr.  Where Sam. and Chr. diverge,
>Jos. picks one, creating an agreement with one against the other.
>In this case, Ian prefers solution no. 1, and Peter prefers
>solution no. 4.  Logically, the evidence adduced by Ian that
>"Josephus almost always agrees with either one or the other"
>support either solution (and more).

The grits are here:

>If we adopt reasonable
>datings for the materials, i.e. Sam. and Chr. earlier than
>Jos., then Peter's solution is preferable.

As you have no relevant criteria to say what the "reasonable datings for the
materials, i.e. Sam. and Chr." are, nor whether those "reasonable datings" are
earlier than Josephus, this is worth your two cents I suppose.


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