Josephus’s portrayal of the general then emperor Titus reminded me of the gospels’ treatment of Pilate:
That Josephus intended such safe criticism is likely because he employs other techniques from the same manual, such as hyperbolic praise of current rulers. His Titus is endowed with so much πρόνοια (“forethought”) and έλεος (“gentle commiseration”) that he appears an improbable humanist and even incompetent general, frequently tricked by the wily Judaeans (BJ 4.84-120; 5.316, 329; 6.12, 29-32, 78-9, 152-6, 183-4, 190, 214-28, 356).
Mason, Steve. 2009. “Of Despots, Diadems and Diadochoi: Josephus and Flavian Politics.” In Writing Politics in Imperial Rome, edited by W. J. Dominik, J. Garthwaite, and P. A. Roche, 347–48. Leiden ; Boston: Brill.
Just as Josephus portrayed a thug as a saint so the evangelists portrayed another thug, Pilate, as so good natured, so innocent, that those “wicked Judaeans” pressured him into crucifying Jesus against his will.
Latest posts by Neil Godfrey (see all)
- How Jesus Historicists and Mythicists Can Work Together (or, How to do History) - 2022-01-22 07:30:57 GMT+0000
- Bearing False Witness for Jesus - 2022-01-18 01:12:46 GMT+0000
- Why Did Written Stories of Jesus Take So Long to Appear? - 2022-01-17 05:02:14 GMT+0000
If you enjoyed this post, please consider donating to Vridar. Thanks!