Week 2 - Week 2: A) Identify: Josephus, Apocryphal, Q...

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Week 2: A) Identify: Josephus, Apocryphal, “Q” source, Tacitus, textual criticism, pagan sources for the knowledge of Jesus, the value of a “critical” approach to study of Gospels, synoptic Gospels, source criticism, form criticism, and redaction criticism. Josephus was born about A.D. 37. He was a historian who is categorized under the Non-Christian witness category. He was a member of the Pharisee party until his death in A.D. 100. He was described as narcissistic and often wrote about himself as knowing more than his teachers. He adopted the family name of Flavius after he fled to Rome. The Antiquities of the Jewish People was completed 16 years in the making. Centuries later, historians are still not in agreence in the interpretation of certain lines. Apocrypha can be translated to mean “hidden away”. Sometimes this term is used to describe the “excluded books of the Bible.” One example of an Apocryphal Gospel is the Gospel of Thomas, which is one of the oldest. This was discovered in Upper Egypt. Thirteen leather-bound books were discovered with absolutely no previous knowledge. The Gospel of Thomas did not contain any narrative works, but consisted of 114 quotes about Jesus. Another example is the Gospel of Philip. This is a collection of questions of salvation. Infancy Gospels were also written to satisfy the curiosity of people about the early years of Jesus. Tales of bringing clay birds to life and working with wood were written to paint a picture of what Jesus might have been like as a child. Q is a symbol that stands for the German word Quelle , which means “source”. It is used to compare the many similarities between the books of Matthew and Luke. When the books are put in a chart, the Q represents the top right corner connecting both Matthew and Luke. Tacitus was a Roman historian who was known to be very exact and precise which was rare for his time. In his writing called Annals he described the persecution of the Christians in Rome. They were blamed for the great fire that wrecked approximately half of Rome in A.D. 64. The Christians were tortured in various was from being tarred and set on fire to being fed to wild animals. Tacitus was able to accurately identify the time of death of Jesus according to the reigning emperor at the time. Textual criticism refers to the science which seeks to determine the most accurate reading of the Greek text through comparing ancient MSS. Basically it is referring to the human error when attempting to translate or interpret the original text that the Bible was written. Pliny the Younger was a Latin author who has references to Christ in his writings. While holding the position of governor of Bithynia, he had sought advice from the emperor as to what to do with the increasing number of Christians in his providence. The economy was suffering due to the falling number of animal sales. He also questioned their need to come together weekly for prayer. Another Pagan source that referred to Jesus was a man named Tacitus (See previous paragraph). Suetonius, secretary to the
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This note was uploaded on 06/20/2011 for the course REL 112 taught by Professor Paul during the Fall '09 term at Wayne State University.

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Week 2 - Week 2: A) Identify: Josephus, Apocryphal, Q...

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