28 Feb 2013 
#58 The author of 'Acts of the apostles' ("Luke") knew about Josephus' Wars but not his 'Antiquities of the Jews': a smoking gun

To Blog Entry Page / To Tags Complete List / To My Website
Emphasis mine

In order to use the Tags function, please copy selected {tag_name} (c/w brackets), then go to the Blog Entry Page and paste it in the FIND box of your browser.

In 'Acts' (23:2, 24:1), the high priest during Paul's last visit to Jerusalem is "Ananias". At this time, the governor of Judea is Felix, two years before he was replaced (Ac 24:27).

However according to Josephus' Ant., XX, VIII, 5 & 8, it is very clear that during Felix' years as governor (52-60), there were only two successive high priests, "Jonathan", then "Ismael".
"Ananias" is also recorded in 'Antiquities', but his tenure ended during the rule of Cumanus, the predecessor of Felix (Ant., XX, VI, 2). If the author of 'Acts' had 'Antiquities', this mistake would not have occurred.

But how did this writer get "Ananias"?
Most likely from Josephus' Wars, II, XII, 6: "both Jonathan and Ananias, the high priests". This is during the rule of Cumanus. From that the author likely thought there were two high priests then. But later in the same book, we learn that, after Felix became governor (II, XIII, 2), "the first man who was slain by them [sicarii] was Jonathan the high priest"(II, XIII, 3).

Nobody is mentioned in 'Wars' as the replacement for Jonathan. Then who is left as a high priest? Ananias, of course!

This is a very strong piece of evidence advocating the author of 'Acts' knew about 'Wars' but did not read 'Antiquities'.

There are other cases proving the same, such as:

1) One big mistake which would have been avoided by knowing 'Antiquities' is Jesus being
a)  born during the census of Quirinius (Lk 2:1-2, Ac 5:37), that is after Archelaus' reign and Judas of Galilee revolt and dated 6-7 CE by Josephus' Antiquities (but not in 'Wars'!).
b) about thirty years old (Lk 2:23) in 27-29 CE, Tiberius 15th year of his reign (Lk 3:1), implying Jesus' birth around 4-2 BC.

Simply incompatible! 

Josephus' Wars, II, XIII, 1  "And now Archelaus's part of Judea was reduced into a province, and Coponius, one of the equestrian order among the Romans, was sent as a procurator, having the power of [life and] death put into his hands by Caesar. Under his administration it was that a certain Galilean, whose name was Judas, prevailed with his countrymen to revolt, and said they were cowards if they would endure to pay a tax to the Romans and would after God submit to mortal men as their lords. ..."
Josephus' Antiquities, XIII,
I, 1 "Now Cyrenius, a Roman senator, and one who had gone through other magistracies, and had passed through them till he had been consul, and one who, on other accounts, was of great dignity, came at this time into Syria, with a few others, being sent by Caesar to he a judge of that nation, and to take an account of their substance. Coponius also, a man of the equestrian order, was sent together with him, to have the supreme power over the Jews. Moreover, Cyrenius came himself into Judea, which was now added to the province of Syria, to take an account of their substance, and to dispose of Archelaus's money; but the Jews, although at the beginning they took the report of a taxation heinously, yet did they leave off any further opposition to it, by the persuasion of Joazar, who was the son of Beethus, and high priest; so they, being over-pesuaded by Joazar's words, gave an account of their estates, without any dispute about it. Yet was there one Judas, a Gaulonite, of a city whose name was Gamala, ..."
II, 1 "When Cyrenius had now disposed of Archelaus's money, and when the taxings were come to a conclusion, which were made in the thirty-seventh year of Caesar's victory over Antony at Actium,"

2) Concerning high priest names, in gLuke, both Annas and Caiaphas are the high priests at the time of Jesus' last year (Lk 3:2 "while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests"). But Josephus' works has no "Annas" as high priest, at any time (the closest names are Ananus and Ananias). Furthermore, once again, it is clear that if "Luke" had known about Josephus' Antiquities, another error would be averted: there was only one high priest then, named Caiaphas:

Ant., XVIII, II, 2 "This man [Gratus the prefect] deprived Ananus of the high priesthood, and appointed Ismael, the son of Phabi, to be high priest. He also deprived him in a little time, and ordained Eleazar, the son of Ananus, who had been high priest before, to be high priest; which office, when he had held for a year, Gratus deprived him of it, and gave the high priesthood to Simon, the son of Camithus; and when he had possessed that dignity no longer than a year, Joseph Caiaphas was made his successor. When Gratus had done those things, he went back to Rome, after he had tarried in Judea eleven years, when Pontius Pilate came as his successor."

Ant., XVIII, IV, 3 "But Vitellius came into Judea, and went up to Jerusalem; it was at the time of that festival which is called thePassover ... Besides which, he [Vitellius] also deprived Joseph, who was also called Caiaphas, of the high priesthood, and appointed Jonathan the son of Ananus, the former high priest, to succeed him. After which, he took his journey back to Antioch.

3) The spelling is different for "Cyrenius": Kurhnios in gLuke and Kurinios in Josephus' works: it does not look "Luke" read "Cyrenius" in either 'Wars', at least seven chapters after his normal chronological niche at the start of the Jewish war (66-73)
'Antiquities', in his chronological niche, right after Archelaus' rule on Judea.

4) Judas of Galilee and Theudas 

5) See here for details and other cases
These other cases are about Lysanias, Agrippa I's death, Drusilla, Bernice, the famine, all narrated in 'Antiquities' but not in 'Wars'. However (for the bolded cases) there are huge differences between Luke's versions and the ones in 'Antiquities'.

Cordially, Bernard

Tags: {Acts of the apostles} {dating} {Josephus}
Your comment: please copy "post #58" (to be pasted in your reply) and then click on "New Comment".