An Early Second Century NonChristian Witness to the Testimonium Flavianum?

So argues Stephen Carlson. Although I have studied the Testimonium in depth, I had not really given this argument much attention. Carlson makes an interesting case that I will need more time to consider. I would be more open to it, though, if it could be shown that Tacitus had other, more firm, contacts with the writings of Josephus.

At least it would finally drive a stake through the heart of the far-fetched notion that Eusebius invented the Testimonium.

UPDATE: I do think that Carlson makes an interesting point about where Tacitus got his knowledge about Christians. The evidence that he got it from interrogated Christians seems unlikely. Perhaps Christians had been the talk of the town after Nero's persecution and some of the buzz was still circulating. It is also possible, though I do not yet think likely, that Tacitus learned of it from Josephus' writings -- even if just second hand.

Comments

Anonymous said…
This is really great stuff Layman. You always do such a good job on this kind of thing.

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