Jesus (in Mark), Jesus (in Josephus) and Cassandra

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by Neil Godfrey

As far as I am aware the observations linked here between the Jesus in Mark’s gospel and the Jesus in Josephus were first made by Theodore Weeden (author of ‘Mark: traditions in conflict’) in informal email discussio. I was excited to read a comment from someone somewhere recently (Michael Turton?) that Weeden is soon to publish a book about this. Can anyone tell me when to expect this and what it’s titled?

The only thought I can add is that the Josephan Jesus strikes me as a classic trope in the legendary-mythical Cassandra mold. Literary tradition depicted her as a demon possessed prophetess raving about the foredoomed destruction of Troy, and later of the King who conquered Troy and finally of herself, and whom all dismissed as mad.

Can anyone tell me more about Ted Weeden’s new book that I hear is coming out?

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4 thoughts on “Jesus (in Mark), Jesus (in Josephus) and Cassandra”

  1. I found another group that contained Theo Weeden’s posts. I E-Mailed him asking name, when, where etc., and he did not reply.

    Maybe he read some of my stuff.

    Anyway, I guess we’ll have to wait like the happy-normals that we are.


  2. JW:
    Neil, the subject of Cassandra http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassandra just came up at FRDB so here is my related post:


    B discusses on 131. Note the two parallels between key techniques for endings of GT and “Mark”:

    1) Opening of doors to reveal the evidence. “Mark”, in accordance with his Theme, inverts this so that cleverly the key piece of evidence is LACK of a body.

    2) Ordinary (as opposed to subsequents) messenger reveals key piece of information (here that Jesus was resurrected).

    Regarding the anticipated disputation with Casey, all of this related consideration of the Style of literature existing in “Mark’s” time and analysis of parallels should be evaluated as a part of due diligence in considering possible sources for “Mark”. You should not (I could say “can not” but that is exactly what Casey is doing) categorically dismiss literary analysis for the influence of existing styles because of the weakness of Sources and also categorically dismiss the weakness of Sources as a problem regarding analysis of possible translation evidence. The Source weakness is a problem for every type of analysis and will prevent any conclusion from being certain or even probable. The better the evidence for any individual conclusion, the worse the support is for all others. The quality of “Mark’s” parallels to GT is inversely related to its historical value. No ands, ifs or buts.


  3. The thread discussing the Gospel of Mark’s points in common with Greek Tragedy begins here: http://www.freeratio.org/showthread.php?t=262303

    In Joseph’s above post, B = Bilezekian, author of “The Liberated Gospel” that compares the Gospel of Mark with Greek Tragedy. GT is JW’s shorthand for Greek Tragedy.

    Joseph, another point that needs to be kept in mind is that the absence of a body as the climactic moment was well known before the Gospels. Heracles disappearance in a dramatic scene is taken as evidence he has become a god; Romulus’s disappearance in a historical work had the same significance; in a popular novel like “Callirhoe” an empty tomb led to people wondering if the person had been taken by the gods.

    The motif extends beyond genre boundaries.

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