Samuel’s Childhood—A Type of Christ!

05 Feb

There are some striking similarities in the first three chapters of 1Samuel that point to the birth and childhood of Jesus. Lee Dahn has written about Jesus’ experience at age 12 in the Temple at Jerusalem and how that is prefigured in the childhood of Samuel (Lee’s blog is HERE). I would like to add my two cents about this idea as well.

Luke begins his narrative of Jesus’ boyhood experience at Luke 2:40 with “…the child grew and waxed strong is spirit, filled with wisdom and the grace of God was upon him.” And, Luke ends his excerpt from Jesus’ childhood in Luke 2:52 with: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” And between these two “bookends” as Mr. Dahn refers to the Scriptures, we find Jesus in the Temple at Jerusalem listening to the “doctors” of the Law and asking them questions. The Scripture says “All who heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.”

What would this mean to someone like Theophilus, to whom Luke addresses his work? Well, for one thing, if Theophilus’ son, Matthias, is indeed Josephus’ father as I suggested in a previous blog, then Theophilus may have been one of those priests listening to Jesus. At age 12 Jesus would have been sitting among these doctors of the Law, while Theophilus’ father, Annas, was the sitting high priest. Theophilus would have remembered the incident. But, is this all? Is Luke merely recalling to Theophilus something that had occurred when he was a young priest? No, because Luke’s first two chapters would have been enough to show how all of Jesus’ early life had been prefigured long ago in the early life of Samuel the prophet. Recall that it was during Samuel’s boyhood—Josephus says when he was 12 years old [Antiquities of the Jews; book 5, chapter 10, paragraph 4], that we are told Eli’s sons (the high priesthood family) were corrupt. The implication against the present high priesthood could not have been overlooked by Theophilus.

Remember, it is not Luke’s intention to bring railing accusations against the priesthood, especially the high priest, who at the time of Luke’s writing was Theophilus. To do so would have been against the Law, for the Scripture says: “you shall not blaspheme God or curse the ruler of your people” (Exodus 22:28). Luke is not like today’s media reporters who think nothing of exposing secrets and failures of our leaders, today. Today’s media believes it has the right and responsibility to act as it does. Perhaps this is so, but not in Luke’s day. Luke had no such “right” that today’s media embrace. To expose the sins of one’s rulers without cursing them was a very delicate matter. Luke had to be very careful with what he said. Otherwise, he would have been an offender himself. Nevertheless, Luke also wished to leave room for repentance, because if the leader of his people would confess Christ, so would the nation.

What Luke did by narrating Jesus’ birth and boyhood was point Theophilus to Samuel. Both his mother and Jesus’ mother had similar birth experiences. Both mothers praise the Lord in song over what the Lord had done to them, concerning giving birth. Both Luke and the writer of 1Samuel emphasized the youths growing in wisdom and favor with God and men (Compare Luke 2:40 & Luke 2:52 with 1Samuel 2:21; 1Samuel 2:26 and 1Samuel 3:19-21). Jesus presence in the Temple and the events surrounding his birth would have pointed Theophilus first to his own memory of seeing Jesus at age 12, and then to Samuel at age 12, and the comparison between the priesthood in Samuel’s day and that during Jesus’ day would have been clearly identifiable. The conviction of corruption would have come from Theophilus’ own heart and not from the pen of Luke.


Posted by on February 5, 2010 in Religion, spiritual warfare


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13 responses to “Samuel’s Childhood—A Type of Christ!

  1. Lee

    February 11, 2010 at 15:06

    Concerning Luke’s possible use of editorial comments, I am not suggesting that Luke does it in the same way as John. But I am suggesting that maybe (though, remember, I’m not yet sold on the idea 100%) that Luke is simply attempting to identify to which Joanna he is referring, and not necessarily giving a real-time detail. I was not drawing a strong parallel between Luke and John. Just a similarity.

    As for Joanna’s placement in an embarrassing situation, I was not speaking from personal perspective. If Joanna was indeed a follower of Jesus, then Luke could easily use her testimony in his story as leverage, so to speak. Luke is not afraid to demonstrate the priesthood’s failures in contrast to Jesus. To mention Joanna is not necessarily offensive, especially if true.

    I am not relying on Nolland, Bauckham, et al, on my conclusions. I actually discovered the chiasm before Bauckham published either source, and before I read it in Nolland. Bauckham cites both Dussaut and Nolland, meaning his recognition of it possibly relied on theirs. Mine was wholly independent. So, on this, I am not working from another’s “eyes”. Chiasms are funny things. They are meant to highlight a specific element in the story/teaching. Often they are employed as mnemonic devices (cf. Matt’s Sermon on the Mount). But in Lk24, it is fairly certain that a chiasm exists. That it is not arranged as a mnemonic device, and that it has a midpoint rather than a simple pattern of AB…B’A’, indicates that Luke is highlighting something – namely, either Mary, Joanna, Mary collectively, or Joanna specifically. Richard Fellows, a friend of mine who specializes in onomastics and name-change, agrees that one of the two is correct, but also concludes that if the collective idea is correct, then Joanna must be understood as more notable than Mary the mother of James, for she precedes her. But, given the data, I doubt that this is the case. In what was is Joanna more significant a figure than Mary the mother of James? And why would Luke give Joanna precedence over Mary? You can imagine where I’m going – Joanna is significant because of Luke’s recipient. So whether one accepts the collective idea or the specific idea, the chiasm was important for Theo (or Luke) for some reason.

    Concerning why Luke does not name Caiaphas if he were responsible for Stephen’s death, in Acts 4.6, we find Caiaphas and Annas explicitly named. Yet, there are two names there who belong the the priestly family which appear nowhere else in the historical records: Alexander and John. It could be said that these were insignificant members of the family, related in some fashion. But, I believe Luke is cryptically identifying Eleazar (in the Graecized “Alexander”) and Jonathan, both of which were Theo’s brothers. If Luke is cryptic about these namings, then why not be about Caiaphas and Annas? Because Luke would be implicating them directly and publicly. So, if he is not hesitant to publicly implicate Caiaphas, then why not name him as the HP responsible for Stephen’s death?

    I have read Sherwin-White’s material. And, while I believe Richard A. rightly interprets the data, I do believe Paul was in jeopardy under the law. Citing Richard, “The point of Sherwin-White’s detailed discussion was to establish that this procedure implemented by Claudius provided no relief for persons awaiting trial, as Roman law did not recognize any right of speedy trial until the fourth century or later.” I will need to go back and reread Sherwin-White on the matter. But I do believe that Paul was not simply going to be set free because of a failure to prosecute. It was a little more complicated than that. And the data Richard provides does not stem from Paul’s appeal to Caesar. Sherwin-White makes much of Paul’s appeal as the grounds for his demise, if the trial were to be delayed. I’ll have to hunt that down for you.

    As a Roman appointed official, Theo could have intervened on Paul’s behalf. If Theo was won over to the faith, he could have been expected to do so. It’s a hope on Luke’s part, I believe – a kind of desperation. And I’m curious as to how you see Annas’ family “looking pretty”. Several HPs from Annas’ family were deposed because of horrendous crimes. I don’t see Rome as all that excited about Annas’ family. I can see many Jewish individuals appreciating him (e.g., Josephus). Annas was honored by being buried in the wall surrounding Jerusalem. I think Josephus notes that this section of the wall did not fall during Rome’s siege. So, there was some respect for Annas. But I don’t know that it was shared by the Romans. Eleazar, Caiaphas, Matthias, and Annas/Ananus the younger were known to be crooked. And perhaps Jonathan, as you suggest. That leaves only Annas and Theo as potentially respectable.

    As for the breakthroughs in Lukan research, I have been dialoguing with Jenny Read-Heimerdinger on the significance of codex Beza on the Theophilus Proposal. She seems to believe Luke wrote to the HP and that Beza supports this claim. I have written briefly on the Emmaus pericope, in which I cite her work. There are many conclusions from that line of reasoning which I’m still working through. But, I believe Nathanael was the unnamed disciple, and Cleopas/Clopas was his father. I believe Nathanael was James the son of Alphaeus. Richard Fellows makes this case somewhat convincingly. Luke protected James’/Nathanael’s identity for obvious reasons. Though this may not appear significant for the Proposal, it is because Theo would have recognized its significance. I will post more on this fairly soon.

    On Bezan Luke, I’m still working on it. There is a wealth of data to sift through.

    On the other players, I’m looking into Jairus, the women with an issue of blood, the Beelzebul pericope in GLuke, the seven sons of Sceva, the sayings from Jesus about “five” family members, the parable of the unjust/unfaithful steward, the prodigal son, etc. There are just too many pericopae unique to Luke which indicate that Theo is the HP. I refrain from giving details here, as space does not allow.

    On Luke and Josephus, I am saying that if one knew the other, then Josephus knew Luke. Richard A. has done some work on this, as I mentioned before. I am not sold on every instance which he presents, but I do like the idea. That said, such a notion runs against the flow of modern scholarship. It would indeed be a breakthrough to prove the point that Josephus knew of Luke, and rewrote Luke. But there has not been enough substantial data put forth to convince anyone.

    This forum is restricting for dialoguing in detail. If you wish, you can email me at lee _ dahn [at] yahoo [dot] com.


  2. Smoodock

    February 11, 2010 at 12:32

    Hi Lee,

    Well, it is a relief for me to know that you don’t see my disagreement with you as offensive. When you signed off your previous post to me as “for what it is worth” I thought I may have offended you. I used to frequent “Christian” discussion boards, and I had to learn that writing things on the internet to people who are unable to hear deflections of one’s voice or the expression on one’s face, it is very easy to offend people without one’s realizing. You have not offended me, so don’t let yourself think about that anymore.

    John 12:4 is an obvious editorial. I think we need to proceed with great care when thinking Luke is offering a similar editorial without any indication that he is so doing. Once we allow ourselves to read into his statements things which he never intended to say, it becomes easier to do elsewhere too. This is not to say you ARE wrong; I believe you are wrong, but I would hope you are correct. Nevertheless, care for the truth must be foremost in our minds, which I have no doubt is in your heart, but I offer the brotherly advise to proceed with caution.

    Concerning Joanna’s “embarrassing situation” in Luke 8:3, again I believe you are speaking from your heart. You would not be offended, if a loved one was healed, and it became known to the world. Theophilus, on the other hand was an important person in Jewish society. There were many things done in secret that the Annas family did not wish to be public knowledge. They were sensitive to a public image. Often we find when Jesus spoke to such people, the truth offended them. Joanna, if she had an evil spirit and was Theophilus’ granddaughter, may have represented the proverbial “skeleton” in his closet. Perhaps it is I who is being too sensitive here, but this is how I see the possibility.

    Concerning published authors who support your opinion, I am not a well read man. I read, but not like many others I meet on the internet. I am a bit cautious about depending too much on their opinions, especially when they are speaking on subject matter that I have no proficiency in or little understanding (I have in mind here Christian apologetics in the field of science). I have had to eat my words more than once, because I depended too much upon what others “saw” and I couldn’t see. I dislike allowing others to be my “eyes” so to speak. I much prefer authors to bring my attention to something I missed, but I am able to “see” just as well as they are able.

    We agree that Pilate mishandled his office over Judea. Herod may or may not have been better at governing Jerusalem, but we agree that the High Priesthood there would have preferred Herod over Rome.

    Concerning Jonathan, you may be correct. However, I don’t see him as a gregarious and generous person, choosing others before himself, but I see him as one who loves to exercise his power behind those in the public eye. I see him excelling in the secret councils and meetings held with very powerful people. I think he rejoiced in the ability to manipulate power to his liking without ever having to answer publicly for doing so. I believe the Gospel writers, and especially Luke, present their readers with the Annas family as a model of a very powerful but corrupted priesthood. There isn’t much good we can speak of on their behalf. They represent evil, just has Herod and his family do.

    Concerning Stephen’s death and Luke’s mentioning Caiaphas by name earlier in Acts, in Acts 4 there is nothing really condemning about what Caiaphas had done. First of all, he names Annas as the “High Priest” though Caiaphas was sitting in that office. And, secondly, the outcome was to set the apostles free. Nothing was done to them. However when we come to Acts 7 we find that either the High Priest condemned Stephen to die or he allowed “mob rule” to do so. It really isn’t clear. However, whatever occurred would have been seen as wrong—as testified by every gentile court that Paul was ever brought before. In the case of the Philippian court, he wasn’t tried, but when the officers later found out Paul was a Roman, they were afraid about what could happen to them, if the Romans found out.

    Concerning Paul’s predicament in Rome, your understanding of the situation is different from mine. I presume your understanding comes from Richard Anderson’s blog, as does mine. How I read his statements is: Paul’s accusers were in jeopardy, if they accused Paul under false pretense and further could be held liable, if they did not appear before Nero’s court, but Paul—if no one appeared—would have been set free. Perhaps I am wrong, but this is how I understand Richard’s statements. What do you think?

    Concerning Theophilus’ possible involvement in the judicial proceedings, that would depend upon his family’s alliance with the other High Priesthood families at Jerusalem. Ananias, the presiding High Priest when Paul was taken into custody was in danger of prosecution, as was Felix. Other High Priests that would be implicated would be Ishmael, son of Phiabi, and Joseph Kabi. The Annas family on this point was looking pretty. They are not involved, according to the then current Roman law. If, on the other hand, Theophilus did not have good relations with these families, why would he intervene, for he certainly had no love for Paul? However, Luke could have hoped, but the main thrust of Acts and his Gospel was repentance and to believe Jesus is the Messiah.

    Concerning “breakthroughs,” I am unaware of anything on this subject save what I read in yours and Richard’s blogs. If you could direct me to what you point to concerning Clopas and the unnamed disciple on the road to Emmaus, the “details” in the Beza codex and the “host of other players and elements” I would appreciate it.

    Concerning Luke and Josephus, I am having a little difficulty understanding what you mean. Are you saying neither Josephus nor Luke were aware of the other’s works? Most scholarship that believes there is a connection see Luke rewriting Josephus. I take the position that Josephus rewrote Luke. I believe Richard Anderson’s blog takes this same position. I read an excellent article he wrote that pointed to a document written by Gary Goldberg (found HERE)

  3. Lee

    February 10, 2010 at 20:33


    I did not take your comments as offensive. No apologies necessary. And I did not mean offense in my comments. Please excuse me if I did offend.

    A few more words on Joanna:
    I did not mean to say that the mention of her was an editorial note later added, but that the detail that she was “the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward” could be understood as an editorial comment not meant to be referring to her state in that chronological moment in Jesus ministry. Think about John’s writing, where he throws in comments like “he who was to betray him” regarding Judas in Jn12.4. If we might understand the comment regarding Joanna’s marriage in that light, then we don’t necessarily have to see her as married during the events of Lk8.1ff. It could be understood as an identification marker for Luke’s reader, indicating to which Joanna he was referring. But, I also said that I am not sold on the idea yet. It’s just something to consider.

    As for Joanna’s placement in an “embarrassing situation”, I do not see this as working against Luke’s goal. Theo would not have taken offense to such a detail, especially if it were true. And I would think that her eyewitness testimony to Jesus’ resurrection (Lk24.10) would be much more embarrassing for Theo. But I think Luke is appealing to testimony from one very close to Theo. And I believe this is why Luke places her in the place of prominence in the chiastic structure. Speaking of the structure, I did not address your comment about the names being lumped together: Mary, Joanna, Mary. This may be the case, but John Nolland (in footnote only) and Richard Bauckham (published twice), both following L. Dussaut, make the case that Joanna has the place of prominence, though they offer no significant explanation. I know of no one arguing (in print) for a collective midpoint to the chiasm.

    As for Herod and the priesthood, I was not meaning to imply that there was enmity, but simply distance between them. Herod highly esteemed the priesthood, but Pilate was governing over Judea and mishandling the Temple funds and killing Galileans – two counts of offense against Herod. The priesthood would have wanted Herod to know that they appreciated him, and were not in collusion with Pilate. They would have wanted to visibly align themselves with Herod over Pilate.

    As for Jonathan, I do not believe there was any enmity between Theo and Jonathan. Jonathan was offered the priesthood a second time, and deferred it to his brother Matthias for reasons of “unworthiness”. This is commendable. It is not necessarily indicative of brotherly love between Theo and he, but neither is it hostility in any way. His deferring and nominating of Matthias demonstrates his fondness of at least one brother, and his interest in keeping his family in the priesthood. I have read somewhere that Jonathan may have converted to the faith, and thus did not feel “worthy” to take up the priesthood again. But, Josephus’ telling of the episode does not work well with the notion.

    On Stephen’s stoning, most scholars place it in 34-35CE. I agree that this is the consensus. However, I wonder why Luke did not name Caiaphas as the culprit. He shows no hesitation to do so elsewhere. My suspicion is that Luke was concealing the HPs identity for Theo’s sake, to avoid the risk of publicly condemning the HP, though the act was indeed condemnable. And if the act was condemnable, then why keep the HP nameless? If it was for Luke’s sake, to keep him safe from the authorities, then this is further evidence that Luke wrote when such an accusation would have meant certain death – meaning, very early.

    As for why Luke wrote Acts, Paul was under house arrest for two years. He had appealed to Caesar. Claudius had enforced a law that anyone appealing to Caesar had two years to appear in Rome with his accusers, or else all were found guilty. If this is the case regarding Paul, and if Felix knew that Paul’s appeal to Caesar demanded his appearance in Rome, it is quit possible that Felix was not interested in carrying out the appeal. We know from Josephus that both Felix and Ananias (the HP alongside Felix) were guilty of offenses which required their presence in Rome via appeal. It is quite possible that they, having known first-hand the appeals processes, did not consider the appeal to be that critical, and instead would have wanted Paul to remain away from Rome, and thus be found guilty be default. Also, by this time, Claudius’ law may have faded in its real effect, meaning that Paul was appealing to a law that was no longer strictly enforced. And Ananias and Felix were possibly willing to run the risk of Rome not caring too much about it. With this in view, it is plausible that Luke his hoping that Theo step in on Paul’s behalf. Theo was a Roman appointed official. He had rights and liberty to engage in Roman affairs in Palestine. Acts ends with Paul in custody for two years.

    But, in large part, I believe Luke wrote in hopes to convince Theo that the Jesus movement was legitimate against the mainstream Jewish leadership. Think about how Luke presents each episode in Acts. It’s very politically arranged, yet very kingdom-minded, as though God was working through these peasants and rebels, and not through the Temple establishment. By the time Luke gets to Paul’s final arrest, the Temple is no longer in view. And so an appeal to Theo to step in makes good sense. He has given a detailed account of the movement’s legitimacy. If it was convincing, perhaps Theo would take it to heart to the degree that he decided to defend Paul.

    As for the legwork in research, it is an uphill battle from here. I have seen breakthroughs with the Theophilus Proposal. Some scholars have bought it, but are unwilling at this point to publish or go public with it. But more and more is coming to light. And I am certain that Joanna’s identity will be revealed as Theo’s granddaughter. I can smell it. And if I’m wrong, I’ll admit it. There are some links to Clopas and the unnamed disciple on the road to Emmaus and a host of other players and elements that need to be further explored. Particularly, codex Beza contains some details which are very important to the Proposal. I’m working on these now. But we’ll see where it all leads.

    If Josephus were found to be the grandson of Theo, and if it can be proven that Luke began writing in 37CE, then it demonstrates that Luke did NOT depend on Josephus, which is a HUGE step in scholarship. I see no ties between Luke and Josephus. If Josephus was familiar with Luke, then there are some problems. Richard Anderson, my colleague, has done an enormous amount of work demonstrating that Josephus rewrote Luke (and all of Jewish history), standing against Luke.

    I believe Josephus was highly regarded by the Romans for his histories. His work was appreciated. And thus, he gained favors. And I doubt that Luke-Acts would have been included under the rubric of “holy books” in the first century. But I could be wrong.


  4. Smoodock

    February 10, 2010 at 09:30

    Hi Lee,

    First let me apologize, if I seem unkind in the manner I disagree with your argument. I don’t mean to be, but I know I come off that way at times. The fact is, I would like to think Joanna, Theophilus’ granddaughter, is Luke’s Joanna, but I don’t see the timeframe fitting. If it was this Joanna and reasonable evidence could be presented, most scholarship would have to admit that Luke’s Gospel was written to Theophilus during his tenure as the High Priest. I would like nothing more than to be able to prove you are correct. That said, just because we have an ossuary that identifies Joanna as Theophilus’ granddaughter doesn’t mean that she is Luke’s Joanna, but I do wish it could be proved so.

    Concerning Luke 8:3 as an editorial comment, many things are possible. We cannot just disregard an idea, because we don’t like it, but from where I sit, it isn’t likely. Luke seems to be telling Theophilus in Luke 1:3 that he is giving a chronological account of what occurred in Jesus’ ministry. Luke 8:3 lists the women who supported Jesus out of their own means. They are mentioned as Jesus is beginning the second year of his ministry, and the beginning of the Gospel of the Kingdom, which Jesus began to preach after John was put in prison. Jesus’ and John’s ministry overlapped for about a year—Jesus’ first year. I place this Scripture at the beginning of Jesus second year, and it would be at least from this time that these women are listed as Jesus’ monetary supporters. Another point to consider is, if Joanna is an editorial, it would be certainly an ambiguous one, since it doesn’t seem plausible that Mary Magdalene would be a late editorial. Moreover, if this is Theophilus’ granddaughter, it would be the first time Luke has put one of his family in an embarrassing situation, because Luke lists her as one Jesus healed of evil spirits and infirmities. To show one of his family may have had an “unclean” spirit would likely disturb him, knowing the document, though addressed to him, would be read throughout the world.

    I didn’t realize I was coming across as though yours is the only argument, if that is the case, then it is I who should apologize. I am more familiar with what you have written, because you are the one who is commenting on what I say on my blog. I am merely seeking to reply to what you say. If I sounded like I was replying to all that could be said, then I came off in a manner in which I was unaware. It was not my intention to be understood that my reply answered all that could be said about Theophilus’ granddaughter and Luke’s Joanna.

    I think I mentioned we agree that Pilate and Herod were at odds with one another and Luke 13:1 is the event that made this so, but I am unaware of the priesthood having a point of disagreement with Herod. I have been reading Josephus for the past few days and referring to him in my private studies for the past few weeks. I understand that the Herods used arranged marriages to ally themselves with other kingdoms and/or appease disagreements they had with important and influential people, so I understand why Joanna could have been used for a political alliance between Herod and the Judean priesthood, but I am not convinced that Luke’s Joanna is Theophilus’ granddaughter.

    Concerning Luke’s reason for not naming Theophilus’ family members throughout this works, we are in agreement 100% on this. It is not Luke’s intention to anger Theophilus, but to present his case in a manner that would appeal to his sense of reason, rather than his emotions. We disagree on Jonathan, because I put Stephen’s execution in 34 CE, which calls for Caiaphas’ priesthood. Jonathan came in 36, which is where I place Paul seeking letters to carry on his persecution of the believers. With Caiaphas replaced, it is only logical that the new priesthood must endorse the ongoing method of eradicating the problem developing over Stephen’s Gospel. We also agree that Vitellius replaced Jonathan with Theophilus, but we disagree about the reason. I don’t pretend to know why, but I can think of a few possibilities. Theophilus may have bribed him, or Jonathan, whom we know to be a meddler in the affairs of Roman procurators may have irritated Vitellius, or perhaps he simply didn’t appreciate the Jewish leaders meeting him at their borders, saying it was against their laws for him to bring the Roman military images into their land, as he and Herod were making war with Aretas and were on their way to Jerusalem to sacrifice to God at the Temple. Many things are possible, but, since I place Stephen’s death in 34 CE, Jonathan is not a consideration of mine for the presiding High Priest at his “trial.”

    Is Luke trying to persuade Theophilus with “Acts” to step in on Paul’s behalf? Perhaps. But, I think the theme of both of Luke’s works are intended to tell Theophilus of the sins of the priesthood and give place for repentance before God. One of the responsibilities of God’s messengers is to expose the sins of the people to whom they were sent and call for repentance toward God and believe the Gospel. Luke may have hoped Theophilus would intervene on Paul’s behalf, but I doubt this is the reason for his addressing his works to him.

    Concerning the peace of Acts 9:31, I have recently written about my understanding of this Scripture. I am not alone in this either. Four of the five commentaries that come with my bible suite agree that the reason for the peace is the Jews greater concern over Caligula’s images. That event came near the end of his life and about the middle of the Theophilus priesthood.

    If you thought I was implying you are too liberal with what you apply to the NT, I apologize. I understand this is a new thought—as you said in encouragement to me—this is a new idea and a great deal of research needs to be done. It is “a mass of unexplored terrain” you said. I appreciated that, and you also claimed that your idea that Joanna is Theophilus’ granddaughter “stretches the limits” (of belief). I agree, and we need to just sound things out—see what other people think and how well we could reasonably defend an idea. Often, when we must defend our position, we are enabled by the Spirit of God to bring out other ideas from the text that strengthens our stand. Personally, I would like to see you make me eat my words. I really want you to be correct! But, our “ideas” must become strongholds in the faith, so that we are able to defend them against anyone who tries to make light of what we believe.

    With regards to the reason for the war, I could be wrong and probably am. I cannot find where I read that the people blamed the priests, so this usually means I am remembering something wrong or misread it to begin with. Concerning why Josephus doesn’t come right out and say he is a descendent of Annas, I don’t really know. I am looking to see what can be defended and what cannot. Presently, I am inclined to believe Josephus is related to Annas. For one thing the names and timeframe of the births fit neatly. Also, Josephus’ mention of his father’s imprisonment at Jerusalem and the likelihood that Matthias son of Theophilus was imprisoned there when he was deprived of his office by the rebels—seems to imply this same Matthias is Josephus’ father. Admittedly, it is circumstantial, but one has to build from someplace. I am merely seeing where this idea will take me. What would it mean if it could be shown Josephus was descended from the Annas family? Why was he given the holy books after the war? Would a priest who was not part of the nobility be given these books? It also seems that Josephus is fairly familiar with Luke’s works and not only familiar but understands what Luke is saying. This is not the case for Celsus who came later. I suppose it is possible for Josephus to acquire Luke’s works, but that could be difficult in the 1st century. However, if he is Theophilus’ grandson, all the holy books (including Theophilus’ copies of Luke and Acts) are in his hands at the command of Titus. This is a neat and tidy argument, but perhaps too neat!

    God bless,


  5. Lee

    February 9, 2010 at 20:14

    As I said before, the identification marker in Lk8.3 could be an editorial comment from Luke, and not meant to be taken as a detail regarding Joanna’s state at that time. (BTW, Joanna was not married to Herod, but to his steward.) And if it is possible that Luke is presenting an editorial comment out-of-time, so to speak, then he is not saying overtly that Joanna was married at the time of Lk8.3. This must be understood. In other words, the mention of Chuza could have been a mark of identity for Theophilus about WHICH Joanna Luke means to identify. (After all, Joanna was a fairly common name, a detail which I am not ashamed to admit in this context.)

    And I thought I was presenting AN argument, not necessarily the only one which might be plausible. If I didn’t come across that way, apologies. But I know enmity existed between Pilate and Herod, and between the priesthood and Herod. An arranged marriage would have surely been on the map for those planning some kind of restoration or appeal to Herod. Herod himself used marriage in such ways. It’s just an argument that makes sense of the data, if one accepts that Luke recipient is the HP.

    Absolutely Pilate was showing Herod respect. But this is a rarity on Pilate’s part. Recall Lk13.1, where Pilate was responsible for killing Galileans. And so, Luke’s statements in 23.6-8 make good sense as a description of Pilate’s intention to appeal to Herod an make amaneds:

    “[6]When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. [7] And when he learned that he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. [8] When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him.”

    Luke closes this pericope with a summary comment in v12: “And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other.”

    So, my suggestion that Pilate hoped to make amends with Herod makes good sense of the data in Luke.

    As for why Luke mentions only some of Theo’s family members some of the time, it must be remembered that Luke is writing an irenical presentation. He does not desire to offend Theo, but simply state the facts in such a way as to contrast the Jesus movement with the priesthood. I believe Jonathan was responsible for Stephen’s death, which is most probably why he was replaced by Theo at Vitellius’ judgment. Jonathan was murdered by the Sicarii at the instigation of Felix. Luke presents Felix in such a light that mirrors that of his dealing with Jonathan – a bribing crook. And so, by not naming Jonathan, I believe Luke is being kind to Theo and hoping to persuade Theo to step in on Paul’s behalf in a kind of homage-appeal to Theo in the name of Jonathan. Theo can, in a way, avenge his brother’s death by standing against Felix.

    This also accounts for the time of peace in Ac9.31. As I’ve said before, nearly all chronologists of Acts place 9.31 at 37CE, the year Vitellius made some changes, including Theo’s appointment, and a new Caesar was on the throne. Whenever Palestine was in unrest, Rome appointed new HPs first in hopes to quell it.

    I believe the other writers do not mention Joanna because they either did not know of her or she did not serve their purposes – the latter being the exact reason Luke does not mention those found in the other Gospellers.

    As for the likelihood that Luke’s Joanna is Theo’s granddaughter, it may be said that I am relying on a coincidence of names. But behind that coincidence is some evidence (e.g., ossuary), whereas there is not further evidence in favor of Josephus being Theo’s grandson.

    On that detail, I align myself with scholarship-at-large, and am very cautious about taking what is attributed to the first century as actually attributable. This is the major objection to E. P. Sanders’ covenantal nomism, for example. It’s just not the best practice.

    Further, Josephus has plenty of good things to say about Annas and his family. At the time Luke wrote, and probably Josephus, the priesthood was not directly blamed for the fall of Jerusalem. So it is anachronistic to suggest that Josephus did not align himself with Annas because of the blame on the priesthood for Rome’s conquering of Jerusalem. And if Josephus was of priestly stock, which he clearly indicates he was, his priestly heritage would have been known even by Romans, and thus by most anyone who would have read his work. To hide behind obscurities in his writings would have been futile.

    For what it’s worth,


  6. Smoodock

    February 8, 2010 at 11:42

    Hi Lee,

    If Joanna’s marriage was arranged with Herod’s court, I don’t see it being done for the reasons you are considering. For example, Luke mentions Joanna’s marriage to Chuza in Luke 8 showing she was one of Jesus’ supporters. That is, she contributed to the support of his ministry from her own substance. This mention comes a few months after Jesus first Passover. Remember John 2 & 3 show us John was not yet cast into prison at that time. Luke 7:18-23 occurs after John was cast into prison (cp. Matthew 11:2-6), and Luke’s mention of Joanna follows this event. John was beheaded just before Jesus’ second Passover which Jesus spent in Galilee with John’s bereaved disciples (John 6:1-4) who were among the 5000 Jesus fed (John 6:10; cp. Matthew 14:10-12, 21). Pilate didn’t slaughter the Galilean Jews who had come to sacrifice at the Passover until a year later (Luke 13:1). This was Jesus’ third Passover and a year before his crucifixion. I place this third Passover in 30 CE, but Joanna is mentioned as married to Herod at least a year and a half earlier. While I agree that there was tension between Herod and Pilate over this incident, Luke shows Joanna was married to Chuza at least for a year and a half before the incident that you perceive her marriage was meant as a politically friendly overture on the part of the Jewish leadership in Judea.

    Concerning the reason for which Pilate sent Jesus to Herod, I don’t see it as an effort to satisfy Herod’s curiosity. Jesus was accused of being seditious, and lived in Herod’s territory. Pilate sent Jesus to Herod to let him judge the matter himself, thereby expressing respect for Herod’s jurisdiction over the matter. It was this unexpected show of respect on the part of Pilate after murdering so many of Herod’s citizens at the previous Passover that appeased Antipas.

    While it is true that Luke mentions Theophilus’ family members in Acts 4:6, he fails to do so on a number of other occasions: when Jesus was being tried (Luke 22:50, 54), when the disciples were being tried (Acts 5:17, 21, 24, 27), when Stephen was tried (Acts 7:1) and when Paul received letters from the High Priest for the synagogues of Damascus to lay hands on believers in Jesus (Acts 9:1; 22:5). All citations are for members of Theophilus’ family, but Luke names them only in Luke 3:2 and Acts 4:6. I don’t see your point that Luke had a “fondness” of naming members of Theophilus’ family. I think he took great care as to when and how he identified the members of his family.

    Concerning your mention of a chiasm in Luke 24 that points to Joanna, seen another way this chiasm could point to the three women as a group and not separately to Joanna. In this case Mary Magdalene would have the prominence, since she is mentioned first. If memory serves, women were not credible witnesses in the first century. I believe pointing to the women as witnesses to the resurrection, which later became the foundation upon which the new faith began, would be saying something else to Theophilus. It seems to me, if Luke wished to point to Joanna specifically, he could have done so at both places in his Gospel where she is mentioned. Moreover, since it seems to be Luke’s manner to avoid overtly embarrassing Theophilus in a document which would be read throughout the known world in the 1st century, why would he mention Joanna by name in chapter 8 where Luke shows the women who supported Jesus out of their own means were women out of whom Jesus had cast evil spirits and healed certain infirmities?

    Concerning Joanna’s ossuary, at this point I believe it is presumption that Luke is writing about this Joanna. All you can point to here is what you claim my argument is about as it pertains to Josephus—a similarity of names. Did Theophilus have a granddaughter named Joanna? Yes, but did Luke mention her in Luke 8:3 and 24:10? I am not convinced he has. Why don’t the other Gospel writers mention her? I don’t know, but would Joanna, the wife of Chuza be a random choice on Luke’s part? Why do you think the other writers don’t mention her? Why doesn’t Luke mention Salome (Mark 16:1)?

    Concerning whose Gospel was first, I think Matthew’s was, and I believe, as you do that Luke wrote his during the tenure of Theophilus as High Priest. I don’t put much stock in one Gospel being dependent upon another as much of today’s scholarship does. There was a very strong oral culture during the 1st century but this doesn’t mean records weren’t kept. There is evidence within the NT that this oral culture was exploited for the purpose of memorization. If you and I critiqued the hymn “Amazing Grace” there is no need to believe my work was dependent upon yours or visa versa, simply because we use the same phrases of the hymn. The hymn would be memorized by both of us and included in our works. The fact that it appears in both our works does not mean we have ever met or even are aware of one another’s work. The fact that Luke and Matthew have common phrases means absolutely nothing, if people were used to memorizing everything that was important to them. Luke says he interviewed many people presumably at Jerusalem and in Galilee for the purpose of producing a chronological witness. If a great many people memorized the same things, especially common witnesses who discussed such things together, their words would be like a song or a hymn. Everyone would say the same thing with very little change in the wording.

    Concerning why Josephus would want to have his family history somewhat obscure:

    “It was taught, Abba Saul said: There were sycamore tree trunks in Jericho, and the men of violence seized them by force, [whereupon] the owners arose and consecrated them to Heaven. And it was of these and of such as these that Abba Saul b. Bothnith said in the name of Abba Joseph b. Hanin:

    “‘Woe is me because of the house of Boethus; woe is me because of their staves! Woe is me because of the house of Hanin (Annas), woe is me because of their whisperings![1] Woe is me because of the house of Kathros, woe is me because of their pens! Woe is me because of the house of Ishmael the son of Phabi, woe is me because of their fists! For they are High Priests and their sons are [Temple] treasurers and their sons-in-law are trustees and their servants beat the people with staves.’” [Babylonian Talmud; Pesachim 57a (parenthesis mine)]

    This lament is supposed to be from the 1st century. By the end of the century, if memory serves, the priests were being blamed for the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem and the present Jewish state of affairs. Why would Josephus want to have his family history common knowledge? Certainly there were those who knew who he was, but if he wanted to live in peace, and if he desired his works to be preserved, he probably would have had to be a bit ambiguous concerning his family origin. He gave some information, but hid the most highly recognized information. Moreover, in his own right he was hated as a traitor by many Jews, so there seems to be several reasons for wanting to keep his family history somewhat unclear. I admit that my argument has its weak points, due to it being based upon circumstantial data, but I still don’t see how yours is better supported.

    Lord bless,


    [1] Their secret conclaves to devise oppressive measures.

  7. Lee

    February 7, 2010 at 15:46


    If it can be asserted that Joanna’s marriage to Chuza was arranged for political reasons, then it can be said with fair certainty that this arrangement would have been made when she was younger rather than older. And if this arrangement was made for the sake of making amends with Herod when an obvious rift between Judean leadership and Herod existed, the Joanna’s arranged marriage at the age of thirteen is not so outlandish, if she was 13 in roughly 30CE, during the time which Herod would have been losing Judean respect at the hand of Pilate. An arranged marriage between the high priesthood and Herod, thus going around Pilate and undermining Pilate’s sway on the priesthood, would have made good sense. Herod wanted Judea, and Judea needed Herod. I’m not going so far as to say that Joanna’s marriage WAS INDEED about this appeal to Herod, but that several elements there make good sense. Herod appreciated the Jewish priesthood. His predecessors were highly interested in all things Jewish (Herod the Great having rebuilt the Second Temple, donned the moniker “King of the Jews” and married a Jewish high priestly daughter). And he visited Jerusalem somewhat frequently (e.g., during Jesus’ trial – he longed to meet Jesus, and Pilate heard about this and made it happen). All to say, if Joanna’s marriage to Chuza was arranged, and if it was in an effort to gain Herod’s favor (or defy Pilate), then she could easily have been considered for marriage as early as the age of 13. To wait until she were older would have risked too much. So, her marriage at the age of 13 is not so outlandish.

    There were only four (I believe) known men of prominence of the period named Theophilus. And Theo ben Annas the HP of 37-41CE was the only one in Judea. It has been sufficiently demonstrated by several scholars that Luke has Jewish interests in mind, and specifically those of the priesthood. If it can be imagined that Luke wrote to a Judean recipient, and since this recipient named Theophilus is granter the titular “Most Excellent”, it is therefore very likely that Theophilus the HP is Luke’s recipient. On top of this, since Luke is fond of mentioning Theo’s family members by name (cf. Acts4.6), and since we know from archaeological evidence that Theo had a granddaughter named Joanna, the irony would be too great that Luke included an unrelated, seemingly random girl named Joanna at the climax of his Jesus story – the resurrection account. (And I have argued that she occupies the mid-point position of a chiastic structure in that pericope.) Added to this, no other writer includes Joanna. If she were indeed a seemingly random, objective eyewitness to the resurrection, why do Matt, Mark and John not mention her? They mention other key eyewitnesses. And, if Luke did write to the HP while he was in service (the assumption under which I’ve been admittedly working all along), his Gospel was surely one of the first, if not the first. Thus, the similarities between Luke and Matt, for example, should be understood in terms of dependence, on some level. Thus, however circumstantial you may label this kind of reasoning, it is much more than merely a coincidence of names. Thus, my assertion that the likelihood that Luke’s Joanna is Theo’ granddaughter is greater than that Josephus is Theo’s grandson – for the latter MERELY rests on the coincidence of names. There is no ossuary evidence. There is no reasoning regarding Luke’s (or anyone else’s) inclusion of the given name (Joanna vs. Jospehus). Compounded to this, Josephus wrote volumes. He seems quite fond of a number of Annas’ family members, and shows great disdain for a number of them as well. Because we have his voice commenting in fairly detailed manner on Annas’ family, we should expect him to identify himself with that family more than he does (which he doesn’t at all). If he is trying to obscure his association with Annas’ family, then the question must be asked and answered adequately, “Why?” Thus, his identity as a family member of Theo’s rests solely on the coincidence of names (and dates, if you like). For the evidence, even circumstantial evidence, and the silence on Josephus’ part, speaks volumes against your proposition – unless, of course, you can produce a reasonable argument as to why Josephus obscures his association with Annas’ family.

    Joanna’s father is named YEHOHANAN, which is Aramaic/Hebrew for John. This is evidenced in the ossuary. This has caused some to conclude that the “John” of Acts 4.6 refers to Theo’s son. I am inclined to believe that John in Acts 4.6 is Theo’s brother Jonathan and Alexander is the Graecized form of Eleazar, his eldest brother.


  8. Smoodock

    February 7, 2010 at 08:02

    Hi Lee,

    Concerning Joanna’s age etc., I think anything is possible, but I am not comfortable with her being married at 13. I understand that the Jews during this time period supposed the “promise” of marriage, i.e. the marriage arrangement, was considered like a marriage and one had to be divorced from such an arrangement, if something occurred that prevented the couple from following through with the wedding. This was true of Mary and Joseph (though their age is not mentioned), but though they did not live together, they were considered married. Perhaps I just don’t have my mind into the 1st century culture enough to allow myself to believe Joanna could be 13 and living with a man (her husband) with the blessing of the High Priest. While I understand political marriages were arranged (and still are), I don’t see the “probability” that this Joanna is Theophilus’ granddaughter even if we agree Luke addressed both his works to him. I would like to see this idea supported better. Perhaps I am missing something that you see as being obvious, regarding the “chances” that she is not his granddaughter given Theophilus is the High Priest and Luke is writing to him.

    Concerning Josephus, again I don’t see the support that you claim is lacking for this argument to be true. What I see is Josephus says his father’s name is Matthias and that he is a comes from a family of priests. While it is true that many priests were named Matthias, Josephus implies he is the son of a high priest. Moreover, in his account of Wars of the Jews, he says his father is imprisoned at Jerusalem, which one would think would be the case, if the current High Priest was put out of office by force. Later, when Josephus was outside the wall of Jerusalem, he describes a plea he made for the inhabitants of Jerusalem to surrender. He then tells us of a number of high priest’s sons who fled the city when an opportunity presented itself. He named four sons of Matthias and puts them with the other families of high priests then points to “other” nobility. Perhaps I am inadvertently giving this more weight than it deserves, but from my position, it has a lot more circumstantial evidence going for it that the idea that Joanna of Luke is Theophilus’ granddaughter.

    Concerning Theophilus being “87” when he received Luke’s account of Acts, I agree that we cannot know if he would still have had a sharp mind at that age. Personally, I have known wonderful people who had their mental faculties well into their 90s. One gentleman is over 100 and is just beginning to show signs of mental weakness. On the other hand, I have also known people who needed lots of help when they got into their 80s. I know we cannot be sure one way or another, but the probability of one losing his mental faculties increases sharply as we get older. This is common knowledge. Concerning hard evidence, I agree my argument that Josephus is the grandson of Theophilus is based upon circumstantial evidence, but you seem to argue that Joanna’s position is based on “hard evidence.” I really don’t see that this is so, but as I said above, I may be missing something that you see is obviously so.

    Concerning the age scenario, I am in full agreement with Theophilus’ and Matthias’ ages at 30 CE. I don’t agree this is the beginning year of Jesus’ public ministry, but that is another matter. I was surprised, however, that Joanna’s father was “John”. I know I read the website showing her ossuary, but I either had forgotten her father’s name or simply assumed her father was Matthias. That is why I had trouble fitting the age scheme together with him. What I find surprising, however, is that John, who apparently is older than Matthias according to your reckoning of her age, was not placed as high priest before Matthias. I had always assumed Matthias was Theophilus’ first born. Having Theophilus at age 45 in 30 CE puts him at age 20 in 5 CE. This would make him about 17 or 18 when he sired her father, John, and John would be about the same age when Joanna was born, but these ages must be even younger, if Jesus began his ministry in 27 CE as I believe. Like I mentioned above, perhaps I just don’t have my mind into the 1st century culture. Somehow, I don’t see everyone marrying so young.

    Well, this discussion is very interesting from my perspective. I don’t always get to ‘bounce’ my ideas off someone else and see how another point of view is measured against the backdrop of the first century. I am grateful for the patience you have shown thus far. I guess my dissatisfaction with Joanna stems from what her age must be at the time of Jesus’ resurrection and how that limits what Theophilus’ age might be when he received Luke’s works, especially Acts.

    God bless,


  9. Lee

    February 6, 2010 at 21:49


    A couple of things. I am not yet certain whether or not the note in Luke 8.3 regarding Joanna is meant to be taken as a real-time detail, meaning “the wife of Chuza” may be an editorial note which indicates to which Joanna Luke refers. John is notorious for this, but Luke is not. If this be the case, then we do not have to see Joanna as at least 13 in Luke 8.3. However, I am inclined to believe she was at least 13 by then. My point is that we just do not know, nor can. We can simply make educated judgments, and I’m inclined to believe that she was older than 13 in Luke 8.

    Second, the probability that Theo was in his 70s rather than his 80s when Luke wrote Acts does nothing in favor of his being Josephus’ grandfather. If he were in his 70s as you suggest, the link to Josephus is still a great one. Said differently, the probability that he was Josephus’ grandfather is entirely irrelevant to his age at the time of Luke’s presentation of Acts. It still rests on the coincidence of the name of Matthias, which was very, very common in that period and region.

    Third, as feeble as +/-87 may seem for anyone of that period, it is not unfathomable. However old he was, he would have been quite powerful ‘behind the throne’, so to speak, as his father and others had been before him. But the unlikelihood of his being worthy of receiving a letter form Luke at that age is not measurable. It still rests on assumption apart from evidence. So, in all honesty, I see no hard evidence in favor of 1) Josephus being Theo’s grandson and 2) Luke’s Joanna NOT being Theo’s granddaughter. As I argued in my previous response, the ‘likelihood’ factor tilts the scales much more in favor of Joanna’s being Luke’s Theo’s granddaughter, once Luke’s Theo is considered as the HP.

    Fourth, here is a possible age scenario:
    30CE: Theo = 45, Joanna = 13, Matthias = 20s (Jesus begins ministering)
    40CE: Theo = 55, Joanna = 23, Matthias = 30s (Theo serving as HP)
    60CE: Theo = 75, Joanna = 43, Matthias = 50s
    65CE: Theo = 80, Joanna = 48, Matthias = 55+ (Matthias serving as HP)
    From the ossuary, we know that Joanna’s father was John, Theo’s son. If we put him 17 years younger than Theo, he was 16-17 years older than his daughter. The fact that Theo had multiple children (how many we do not know) and multiple brothers make early marriages and births somewhat more likely than not. So it is quite plausible that this scheme is close to reality. Does it not work for you?


  10. Smoodock

    February 6, 2010 at 08:28

    Hi Lee,

    Concerning Joanna, I am aware that political marriages were arranged often in the nobility of all, if not practically all peoples. So, I would not be surprised if this were the case for Joanna, and if it could be reasonably shown that Chuza’s wife was Theophilus’ granddaughter. However, if we agree that Joanna was 13 at the time she was married, and we know Luke speaks of her in Luke 8, which I place in Jesus’ 2nd year (28-29 CE) of his public ministry, and if we further suppose this was the 1st year of Joanna’s marriage, then she would have been about 15 or 16 when she witnessed Jesus alive in 31 CE. Pilate’s slaughter of the Jews at the Passover, would have been Jesus’ third Passover season (30 CE), one year before his death, so I don’t see this as a factor for Joanna’s marriage. However, this does put Joanna’s birth at about the year 15 CE. This would put Theophilus at least in his 40s at this time and age at least 62 when he became High Priest in 37 CE. He would have to be at least 87 when Luke presented Acts to him or older, if Luke wrote Acts and presented the book to him later than 62 CE.

    Concerning Josephus as Theophilus’s grandson, Josephus says his father, Matthias was born in Archelaus’ 10th year ruling the Jews. This puts Matthias’ birth in 6 CE. If we assume Matthias is Theophilus’ first born and that Theophilus was 20 at the time (as I assumed in the case of Joanna above—Matthias 20 and Theophilus 40), then Theophilus would have been 51 when he became high priest. This would make him at least 76 if Luke presented him with the book of Acts in 62 CE.

    Perhaps it is just me, and maybe I am inadvertently trying to force my own position, but I see a 76 year old Theophilus much stronger and much more influential than an 87 year old Theophilus. Perhaps 10 years in one’s 40s or 50s doesn’t seem like a great deal, but when you are this far up in years, it seems to me one has to be concerned with feebleness of both body and mind. 76 seems to me to be a better target for Acts than 87. What do you think?

    God bless,


  11. Lee

    February 5, 2010 at 21:47


    As regards Joanna, she could easily have married as young as thirteen. There is evidence for such young marriages in those days. Further, Herod was fond of Nabateans for accounting purposes, despite the fact that he conquered them. Chuza is a Nabatean name. And that he is a member of Herod’s court is thus not unusual. Having said that, Herod ties to Jerusalem were very strong. Chuza’s marriage to Joanna could have been a political move between the priestly family and Herod. He had lost some respect in Judea, especially when Pilate slaughtered some Galileans and Samaritans, as well as robbed from the Temple treasury to build an aqueduct. Enmity existed between Pilate and Herod (until Pilate sent Jesus to Herod, as per GLuke) and the priesthood would have been very interested in retaining favor with Herod. Thus, Joanna’s marriage to Chuza would make sense in my schema, however strained the age-issue might seem at first glance.

    As you note, it would be ironic if there was a different eyewitness named Joanna only found in Luke’s Gospel if Luke was writing to Theophilus the HP. On top of this, there is evidence in an ossuary that Theophilus the HP had a granddaughter named Joanna. That’s a hard fact. The irony is simply too great if Luke’s Joanna is not Theophilus’ granddaughter (given that Luke wrote to the HP). The odds are greatly in favor of my schema once Theophilus the HP is considered as Luke’s recipient.

    As regards Josephus, the evidence is far too thin, and relies primarily on the coincidence of names. The same accusation has been made of my own position. However, accusers generally yield once the full weight of Luke’s argument is considered. But I just do not see anything in Luke’s argument, nor in any other evidence, which suggests that Josephus’ identity as Theophilus’ grandson does not rest merely on the coincidence of names.


  12. Smoodock

    February 5, 2010 at 21:08

    Hi Lee,
    Have you looked into the idea of Josephus being the grandson of Theophilus? If so, what keeps you from accepting this proposal? I’m curious.

    I agree that “…the points of contact between 1Sam and GLuke, and the probability that Theophilus himself was present at the Temple when Jesus visited, and the striking detail found in Josephus suggesting that Samuel was 12 years old when he was called by God…” don’t have to be related to whether Josephus can be placed in the family of Annas. Your argument would be true, as far as I am concerned, even if my thoughts about Josephus are wrong.

    Concerning Joanna, I’m still thinking about it. If Josephus’ father, Matthias, is Theophilus’ son, he would be too young to have a daughter in 31 CE to witness the resurrection. On the other hand, if Josephus’ father is not the Matthias who was the high priest just before the Jewish war, I would like to think that high priest’s daughter was the Joanna who witnessed Jesus resurrection, but I need to consider it further. I always thought the witness was the wife of Chuza, and no matter where you place Theophilus’ son being born, it seems Joanna would be too young to be married to Chuza at the time of the crucifixion. I suppose there could be more than one Joanna, but it seems odd to place her as a witness, but never offer a hint as to her identity.

    God bless,


  13. Lee

    February 5, 2010 at 15:21

    I have read your argument regarding Josephus’ place in Annas’ family. In my previous studies and interactions, I have been unconvinced of that argument. That said, all of the points of contact between 1Sam and GLuke, and the probability that Theophilus himself was present at the Temple when Jesus visited, and the striking detail found in Josephus suggesting that Samuel was 12 years old when he was called by God, are not related to Josephus’ inclusion into the family of Annas. While my argument regarding Theophilus (and Joanna) stretches the limits, having Josephus as the grandson of Theophilus seems to confound it more so. Perhaps I am wrong.

    Nonetheless, it is exciting to find others intrigued by the general Proposal. Thanks again for the mention.


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