Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Josephus, the "Jesus Tomb," and the other men named Jesus.

There has been some controversy the past few years. About a archaeological discovery in Israel, nicknamed the “Jesus Tomb.” It is claimed that this tomb is the resting place of Jesus of Nazareth. The same revered as the Messiah, by Christians worldwide. The story goes that Jesus was only a man and was buried in a tomb near Jerusalem. But, the supporters of this hypothesis are making a logical error here. There assuming that Jesus of Nazareth, is the only “Jesus” in the history of Israel. But, common sense should indicate, and history will show. That some names are often popular and common.

The historian of Israel, Josephus refutes the premise that there was only one Jesus. There are in fact a number of historical figures with this name. Recorded throughout “The Antiquities of the Jews” and the “The Wars of the Jews” are other men of this name. The list begins with our Jesus; “He was the Christ” (Antiquities 18:3.3) according to this passage. Undoubtedly a controversial passage, from the Jew’s historian. Next is Jesus, the son of Phabet. (Antiquities 15:9.3) He was deprived of the high priesthood by Herod; who gave it to Simon, desiring his daughter for a wife.

Another one is Jesus, brother to Onias. (Antiquities 12:5.1) He was made High Priest after Onias (father of Onias, Phew!) died. But he was then deprived of the rank by King Antiochus. Who gave it to his younger brother, another Onias!

Again we have, Jesus, the son of Gamaliel. (Antiquities 20:9.4) Who was the successor of Jesus, the son of Damneus. The reader will undoubtedly detect a pattern. This was a popular name for High Priests, especially in the years around Jesus life.

Next is Jesus, the son of Ananus. (Wars 6:5.3) A strange Prophet like plebian and husbandman. His story begins after a quake in the Temple during the Jewish Pentecost feast. The priests heard a voice of a multitude that said “Let us remove Hence!” He began a warning cry in Jerusalem. “A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against the whole people.” He was even whipped by the Roman Procurator Albinus, to the bone! But continued a cry of “Woe, Woe to Jerusalem.” Struck dead eventually by a stone from a machine. How strange it is! A man named Jesus was warning Woe; in Jerusalem. After Jesus of Nazareth's time; and after a earthquake in the Temple! Could this have been the quake at Jesus Christ’s death?

Now there is also; Jesus, the son of Sapphias. (Wars 2:20.4) Another High Priest, chosen to be a General for Idumea. He is also mentioned in (Wars 4:4) Where he gives a lengthy speech to the soldiers in the Jewish revolt.

Jesus, the son of Saphat; (War 3:9.7) was a leader of a band of robbers! Which stood up to the Romans at the city of Scythopolis.

Another, Jesus, son of Thebuthus. Betrayed the Temple treasures to Caesar; giving him candlesticks, cisterns, vials all of gold. As well as, veils and garments with precious stones. Along with other Temple plunder, which was to preserve his life.

Another High Priest was; Jesus the son of Sie. Under Archelaus, he replaced Archelaus brother Eleazar. Are we getting bored reader? The end of these lists. Now the question must be entering your thought; why?

Why, was this name so popular, especially among High Priests? Allow me a few more examples that will; I suspect, explain. During the rebuilding of the Temple at Jerusalem; after Cyrus’s blessing to do so. We find Jeshua, the son of Josedek the High Priest. (Antiquities 11:3.10) He is mentioned again in Josephus’ High priest lists. Where he is called; “Jesus, the son of Josadek"!” (Antiquities 20:10.1) Note well the change. The name Jesus, is a variation of Jeshua! According to Josephus’ usage here. The next step is simple enough. “So Moses sorted all that were fit for war into different troops, and set Joshua, the son of Nun, of the tribe of Ephraim, over them” (Antiquities 3:2.3) The name Jesus is a derivation of the Exodus hero Joshua!

Hence, in conclusion. The name Jesus, derived from Joshua. Obviously a popular name among the Hebrews for all time. This defeats the logic of those who claim to have found a tomb of “Jesus, of Nazareth.” There are simply to many historical examples of the name. Undoubtedly there will be more. The researchers of the “Jesus Tomb,” have simply found a different Jesus. This same principal can all be applied to the myth of Jesus, marrying and having children. Popularized by books like “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown. It simply can’t be shown that it’s the same Jesus. The one we call “Jesus,of Nazareth,” the Messiah!

Sources:(Quotes used with permission of Publisher)
“The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged” (1987) Translated by William Whiston, A.M.; Published by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.

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