Simon bar Kokhba
Simon bar Kokhba, born Simon ben Kosevah, was the leader of what is known as the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire in 132 CE, establishing an independent Jewish state which he ruled for three years as Nasi. His state was conquered by the Romans in 135 following half-year war. Documents discovered in the 20th century in the Cave of Letters give his original name, with variations: Simeon bar Kosevah, Bar Koseva or Ben Koseva, it is probable. The name may indicate that his father or his place of origin was named Koseva, but might as well be a general family name; the Jewish sage Rabbi Akiva indulged the possibility that Simon could be the Jewish messiah, gave him the surname "Bar Kokhba" meaning "Son of the Star" in Aramaic, from the Star Prophecy verse from Numbers 24:17: "There shall come a star out of Jacob". The name Bar Kokhba does not appear in ecclesiastical sources. Rabbinical writers subsequent to Rabbi Akiva did not share Rabbi Akiva's estimation of ben Kosiva. Akiva's disciple, Yose ben Halaphta, in the Seder'Olam called him "bar Koziba", meaning, "son of the lie".
The judgment of Bar Koseba, implied by this change of name was carried on by rabbinic scholarship at least to the time of the codification of the Talmud, where the name is always rendered "Simon bar Koziba" or Bar Kozevah. Despite the devastation wrought by the Romans during the First Jewish–Roman War, which left the population and countryside in ruins, a series of laws passed by Roman Emperors provided the incentive for the second rebellion. Based on the delineation of years in Eusebius' Chronicon, it was only in the 16th year of Hadrian's reign, or what was equivalent to the 4th year of the 227th Olympiad, that the Jewish revolt began, under the Roman governor Tineius Rufus, whereas Hadrian sent an army to crush the resistance. Bar Kokhba, the leader of this resistance at the time, punished any Jew who refused to join his ranks. Two and a half years the war had ended; the Roman Emperor Hadrian at this time barred Jews from entering Jerusalem. The second Jewish rebellion took place 60 years after the first and established an independent state lasting three years.
For many Jews of the time, this turn of events was heralded as the long hoped for Messianic Age. The excitement was short-lived and after a brief span of glory, the revolt was crushed by the Roman legions; the Romans fared poorly during the initial revolt facing a unified Jewish force, in contrast to First Jewish-Roman War, where Flavius Josephus records three separate Jewish armies fighting each other for control of the Temple Mount during the three weeks after the Romans had breached Jerusalem's walls and were fighting their way to the center. Being outnumbered and taking heavy casualties, the Romans adopted a scorched earth policy which reduced and demoralized the Judean populace grinding away at the will of the Judeans to sustain the war. Bar Kokhba took up refuge in the fortress of Betar; the Romans captured it after laying siege to the city for three and a half years, they killed all the defenders except for one Jewish youth whose life was spared, viz. Simeon ben Gamliel. Rabbi Yohanan has related the following account of the massacre: “The brains of three-hundred children were found upon one stone, along with three-hundred baskets of what remained of phylacteries were found in Betar and every one of which had the capacity to hold three measures.
If you should come to take into account, you would find that they amounted to three-hundred measures.” Rabban Gamliel said: “Five-hundred schools were in Betar, while the smallest of them wasn't less than three-hundred children. They used to say, ‘If the enemy should come upon us, with these metal pointers we'll go forth and stab them.’ But since iniquities had caused, the enemy came in and wrapped up each and every child in his own book and burnt them together, no one remained except me.” According to Cassius Dio, 580,000 Jews were killed in overall war operations across the country, some 50 fortified towns and 985 villages razed to the ground, while those who perished by famine and fire was past finding out. So costly was the Roman victory that the Emperor Hadrian, when reporting to the Roman Senate, did not see fit to begin with the customary greeting “If you and your children are healthy, it is well. Over the past few decades, new information about the revolt has come to light, from the discovery of several collections of letters, some by Bar Kokhba himself, in the Cave of Letters overlooking the Dead Sea.
These letters can now be seen at the Israel Museum. According to Israeli archaeologist Yigael Yadin, Bar Kokhba tried to revive Hebrew and make Hebrew the official language of the Jews as part of his messianic ideology. In A Roadmap to the Heavens: An Anthropological Study of Hegemony among Priests and Laymen by Sigalit Ben-Zion, Yadin remarked: "it seems that this change came as a result of the order, given by Bar Kokhba, who wanted to revive the Hebrew language and make it the official language of the state." Simon bar Kokhba is por
Maximus the Confessor
Maximus the Confessor known as Maximus the Theologian and Maximus of Constantinople, was a Christian monk and scholar. In his early life, Maximus was a civil servant, an aide to the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius. However, he gave up this life in the political sphere to enter into the monastic life. Maximus had studied diverse schools of philosophy, what was common for his time, the Platonic dialogues, the works of Aristotle, numerous Platonic commentators on Aristotle and Plato, like Plotinus, Porphyry and Proclus; when one of his friends began espousing the Christological position known as Monothelitism, Maximus was drawn into the controversy, in which he supported an interpretation of the Chalcedonian formula on the basis of which it was asserted that Jesus had both a human and a divine will. Maximus is venerated in both the Eastern Roman Catholic churches, he was persecuted for his Christological positions. He was exiled and died on August 13, 662, in Tsageri in present-day Georgia. However, his theology was upheld by the Third Council of Constantinople and he was venerated as a saint soon after his death.
It is uncommon among the saints that he has two feast days: 13 August and 21 January. His title of "Confessor" means that he suffered for the Christian faith, but was not directly martyred; the Life of the Virgin, the only extant copy of, in a Georgian translation, is albeit mistakenly, attributed to him, is considered to be one of the earliest complete biographies of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Little is known about the details of Maximus' life prior to his involvement in the theological and political conflicts of the Monothelite controversy. Numerous Maximian scholars call substantial portions of the Maronite biography into question, including Maximus' birth in Palestine, a common seventh century trope to discredit an opponent. Moreover, the exceptional education Maximus evidently received could not have been had in any other part of the Byzantine Empire during that time except for Constantinople, Caesarea and Alexandria, it is very unlikely that anyone of low social birth, as the Maronite biography describes Maximus, could have ascended by the age of thirty to be the Protoasecretis of the Emperor Heraclius, one of the most powerful positions in the Empire.
It is more that Maximus was born of an aristocratic family and received an unparalleled education in philosophy, astronomy, etc. It is true, that Maximus did not study rhetoric as he himself notes in the prologue to his Earlier Ambigua to John, to which his lack of high stylistic by Byzantine standards attests. For reasons not explained in the few autobiographical details to be gleaned from his texts, Maximus left public life and took monastic vows at the monastery of Philippicus in Chrysopolis, a city across the Bosporus from Constantinople. Maximus was elevated to the position of abbot of the monastery; when the Persians conquered Anatolia, Maximus was forced to flee to a monastery near Carthage. It was there that he came under the tutelage of Saint Sophronius, began studying in detail with him the Christological writings of Gregory of Nazianzus and Dionysius the Areopagite. According to I P Sheldon Williams his achievement was to set these doctrines into a framework of Aristotelian logic, which both suited the temper of the times and made them less liable to misinterpretation.
Maximus continued his career as a theological and spiritual writer during his lengthy stay in Carthage. Maximus was held in high esteem by the exarch Gregory, the eparch George and the population as a holy man, ostensibly becoming an influential unofficial political advisor and spiritual head in North Africa. While Maximus was in Carthage, a controversy broke out regarding how to understand the interaction between the human and divine natures within the person of Jesus; this Christological debate was the latest development in disagreements that began following the First Council of Nicaea in 325, were intensified following the Council of Chalcedon in 451. The Monothelite position was developed as a compromise between the dyophysitists and the miaphysists, who believed dyophysitism is conceptually indistinguishable from Nestorianism; the Monothelites adhered to the Chalcedonian definition of the hypostatic union: that two natures, one divine and one human, were united in the person of Christ.
However, they went on to say that Christ had only a divine will and no human will, which led some to charge them with Apollinarian monophysitism. The Monothelite position was promulgated by Patriarch Sergius I of Constantinople and by Maximus' friend and successor as the Abbot of Chrysopolis, Pyrrhus. Following the death of Sergius in 638, Pyrrhus succeeded him as Patriarch, but was shortly deposed owing to political circumstances. During Pyrrhus' exile from Constantinople and the deposed Patriarch held a public debate on the issue of Monothelitism. In the debate, held in the presence of many North African bishops, Maximus took the position that Jesus possessed both a human and a divine will; the result of the debate was that Pyrrhus admitted the error of the Monothelite position, Maximus accompanied him to Rome in 645. However, on the death of Emperor Heraclius and the accession of Emperor Constans II, Pyrrhus returned to Constantinople and recanted of his acceptance of the Dyothelite position.
Maximus may have remained in Rome, because he was present when the newly elected Pope Martin I convened
Luke the Evangelist
Luke the Evangelist is one of the Four Evangelists—the four traditionally ascribed authors of the canonical Gospels. The Early Church Fathers ascribed to him authorship of both the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, which would mean Luke contributed over a quarter of the text of the New Testament, more than any other author. Prominent figures in early Christianity such as Jerome and Eusebius reaffirmed his authorship, although a lack of conclusive evidence as to the identity of the author of the works has led to discussion in scholarly circles, both secular and religious; the New Testament mentions Luke a few times, the Pauline Epistle to the Colossians refers to him as a physician. Since the early years of the faith, Christians have regarded him as a saint, he is believed to have been a martyr having been hanged from an olive tree, though some believe otherwise. The Roman Catholic Church and other major denominations venerate him as Saint Luke the Evangelist and as a patron saint of artists, bachelors, surgeons and butchers.
Many scholars believe that Luke was a Greek physician who lived in the Greek city of Antioch, Turkey in Ancient Syria, although some other scholars and theologians think Luke was a Hellenic Jew. Bart Koet, a researcher and professor of theology, has stated that it was accepted that the theology of Luke–Acts points to a gentile Christian writing for a gentile audience, although he concludes that it is more plausible that Luke–Acts is directed to a community made up of both Jewish and gentile Christians because there is stress on the scriptural roots of the gentile mission. Gregory Sterling, Dean of the Yale Divinity School, claims that he was either a Hellenistic Jew or a god-fearer, his earliest notice is in Paul's Epistle to Philemon—Philemon 1:24. He is mentioned in Colossians 4:14 and 2 Timothy 4:11, two works ascribed to Paul; the next earliest account of Luke is in the Anti-Marcionite Prologue to the Gospel of Luke, a document once thought to date to the 2nd century, but which has more been dated to the 4th century.
Helmut Koester, claims that the following part, the only part preserved in the original Greek, may have been composed in the late 2nd century: Luke, was born in Antioch, by profession, was a physician. He had become a disciple of the apostle Paul and followed Paul until his martyrdom, he died at the age of 84 years. Epiphanius states that Luke was one of the Seventy Apostles, John Chrysostom indicates at one point that the "brother" Paul mentions in the Second Epistle to the Corinthians 8:18 is either Luke or Barnabas. If one accepts that Luke was indeed the author of the Gospel bearing his name and the Acts of the Apostles, certain details of his personal life can be reasonably assumed. While he does exclude himself from those who were eyewitnesses to Jesus' ministry, he uses the word "we" in describing the Pauline missions in Acts of the Apostles, indicating that he was there at those times. There is similar evidence that Luke resided in Troas, the province which included the ruins of ancient Troy, in that he writes in Acts in the third person about Paul and his travels until they get to Troas, where he switches to the first person plural.
The "we" section of Acts continues until the group leaves Philippi, when his writing goes back to the third person. This change happens again. There are three "we sections" in Acts, all following this rule. Luke never stated, that he lived in Troas, this is the only evidence that he did; the composition of the writings, as well as the range of vocabulary used, indicate that the author was an educated man. A quote in the Epistle to the Colossians differentiates between Luke and other colleagues "of the circumcision." 10 My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does the cousin of Barnabas. 11 Jesus, called Justus sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, they have proved a comfort to me.... 14 Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, Demas send greetings. Colossians 4:10–11, 14; this comment has traditionally caused commentators to conclude. If this were true, it would make Luke the only writer of the New Testament who can be identified as not being Jewish.
However, not the only possibility. Although Luke is considered to have been a gentile Christian, some scholars believe him to have been a Hellenized Jew; the phrase could just as be used to differentiate between those Christians who observed the rituals of Judaism and those who did not. Luke's presence in Rome with the Apostle Paul near the end of Paul's life was attested by 2 Timothy 4:11: "Only Luke is with me". In the last chapter of the Book of Acts attributed to Luke, there are several accounts in the first person affirming Luke's presence in Rome, including Acts 28:16: "And when we came to Rome..." According to some accounts, Luke contributed to the authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Luke died at age 84 in Boeotia, according to a "fairly early and widespread tradition". According to Nikephoros Kallistos Xanthopoulos, Greek historian of the 14th century, Luke's tomb was located in Thebes, whence his relics were transferred to Constantinople in the year 357; the Gospel of Luke does not name its author.
The Gospel was not written
Emil Schürer was a German Protestant theologian known for his study of the history of the Jews around the time of Jesus' ministry. Schürer was born in Augsburg. After studying at the universities of Erlangen and Heidelberg from 1862 to 1866, he became in 1873 professor extraordinarius at Leipzig. On, he served as professor ordinarius at the universities of Giessen, Kiel and Göttingen. In 1876 he founded and edited the Theologische Literaturzeitung, which he edited with Adolf Harnack from 1881 to 1910, he died after a long illness in 1910 in Göttingen. His elaborate work on the history of the Jews in the time of Christ, Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi, made him one of the best known of modern German scholars in Great Britain and the United States; the second edition was translated into English under the title A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ. A revised English version of the work was created under the editorship of Géza Vermes, Fergus Millar and Matthew Black, with the different title of The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ.
In its earliest form, this work appeared as Lehrbuch der neutestamentlichen Zeitgeschichte. His other works include: Schleiermachers Religionsbegriff und die philosophischen Voraussetzungen desselben – Friedrich Schleiermacher's concept of religion and the philosophical presuppositions. Die gemeindeverfassung der Juden in Rom in der Kaiserzeit – Congregation of the Jews in Rome in the imperial period; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Schürer, Emil". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press. Schürer, Emil. A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ. Scribner. OCLC 679692795 – via HathiTrust
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
Géza Vermes, was a British academic, Bible scholar, Judaist of Hungarian Jewish origin—one who served as a Catholic priest in his youth—and writer on history of religion Judaism and early Christianity. He wrote about the Dead Sea Scrolls and ancient works in Aramaic such as the Targumim, on the life and religion of Jesus, he was one of the most important voices in contemporary Jesus research, he has been described as the greatest Jesus scholar of his time. Vermes' written work on Jesus focuses principally on Jesus the Jew, as seen in the broader context of the narrative scope of Jewish history and theology, while questioning and challenging the basis of the Christian doctrine on Jesus. Vermes was born in Makó, Hungary, in 1924 to parents of Jewish descent, Terézia Riesz, a schoolteacher, Ernő Vermes, a liberal journalist; the Vermes family was of Jewish background but had given up religious practice in the mid-19th century. All three were baptised as Roman Catholics. In an interview with Rachel Kohn of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 1999 he stated: "In fact, I never was anything but a Jew with a temporary sort of outer vestment.
I realized I ought to recognize my genuine identity." Nonetheless, his mother and father died in the Holocaust in 1944. Vermes attended a Catholic seminary; when he was eligible for college, in 1942, Jews were not accepted into Hungarian universities. After the Second World War he became a Roman Catholic priest, but was not admitted into the Jesuit or Dominican orders because of his Jewish ancestry. Vermes was accepted into the Order of the Fathers of Notre-Dame de Sion, a French-Belgian order which prayed for the Jews, he moved to Paris, where he studied under the eminent French Jewish scholar Georges Vajda, a graduate of the Rabbinical Seminary of Budapest. He studied at the College St Albert and the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, where he specialized in Oriental history and languages. In 1953 Vermes obtained a doctorate in theology with the first dissertation written on the Dead Sea Scrolls and its historical framework. In 1962 he completed a first translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls revised and much augmented.
In Paris, Vermes befriended and worked with Paul Demann, a scholar, like him, of Hungarian Jewish origins. Together with a third collaborator, Renee Bloch, they battled doggedly against the anti-Semitic content in Catholic education and ritual of the time; the Second Vatican Council would accept many of the trio's theological arguments. After researching the scrolls in Paris for several years, Vermes had met Pamela Hobson Curle, a poet and scholar, disciple of the Neo-Hasidic Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, the two fell in love, she was married and the mother of two children. In 1958, after her divorce, after Vermes left the priesthood, they married, remaining together and collaborating on work, until her death in 1993, he renounced Christianity and re-embraced his Jewish identity, although not religious observance. He took up a teaching post at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. In 1965, after teaching Biblical Hebrew for several years at Newcastle University in the north of England, he joined the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Oxford University, rising to become the first professor of Jewish Studies before his retirement in 1991.
In 1970 he reconverted to Judaism as a liberal Jew, became a member of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue of London. After the death of his first wife in 1993, he married Margaret Unarska in 1996 and adopted her son, Ian. Vermes died on 8 May 2013 at the age of 88. Vermes was one of the first scholars to examine the Dead Sea Scrolls after their discovery in 1947, is the author of the standard translation into English of the Dead Sea Scrolls: The Dead Sea Scrolls in English, he is one of the leading scholars in the field of the study of the historical Jesus and together with Fergus Millar and Martin Goodman, Vermes was responsible for revising Emil Schurer's three-volume work, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ, His An Introduction to the Complete Dead Sea Scrolls, revised edition, is a study of the collection at Qumran. Until his death, he was a Professor Emeritus of Jewish Studies and Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College, but continued to teach at the Oriental Institute in Oxford.
He had edited the Journal of Jewish Studies from 1971 to his death, from 1991 he had been director of the Oxford Forum for Qumran Research at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. He inspired the creation of the British Association for Jewish Studies in 1975 and of the European Association for Jewish Studies in 1981 and acted as founding president for both. Vermes was a Fellow of the British Academy, he was awarded the Wilhelm Bacher Memorial Medal by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the Memorial Medal of the city of Makó, his place of birth and the keys of the cities of Monroe LA and Natchez MI. He received a vote of congratulation from the US House of Representatives, proposed by the Representative of Louisiana on 17 September 2009. In the course of a l
Celsus was a 2nd-century Greek philosopher and opponent of early Christianity. He is known for his literary work, On The True Doctrine, which survives in quotations from it in Contra Celsum, a refutation written in 248 by Origen of Alexandria. On The True Doctrine is the earliest known comprehensive criticism of Christianity, it was written c. 175 to 177, shortly after the death of Justin Martyr, was a response to his work. Celsus was the author of a work titled On The True Doctrine; the book was suppressed by the growing Christian community, banned in 448 CE by order of Valentinian III and Theodosius II, along with Porphyry's 15 books attacking the Christians, The Philosophy from Oracles, so no complete copies are extant, but it can be reconstructed from Origen's detailed account of it in his 8 volume refutation, which quotes Celsus extensively. Origen's work has survived and thereby preserved Celsus' work with it. Celsus seems to have been interested in Ancient Egyptian religion, he seemed to know of Hellenistic Jewish logos-theology, both of which suggest The True Doctrine was composed in Alexandria.
Celsus wrote at a time. Origen indicates. Celsus writes that "there is an ancient doctrine which has existed from the beginning, which has always been maintained by the wisest nations and cities and wise men", he leaves Jews and Moses out of those he cites, instead blames Moses for the corruption of the ancient religion: "the goatherds and shepherds who followed Moses as their leader were deluded by clumsy deceits into thinking that there was only one God, without any rational cause... these goatherds and shepherds abandoned the worship of many gods". However, Celsus' harshest criticism was reserved for Christians, who "wall themselves off and break away from the rest of mankind". Celsus initiated a critical attack on Christianity, he wrote that some Jews said Jesus' father was a Roman soldier named Pantera. Origen considered this a fabricated story. In addition, Celsus addressed the miracles of Jesus, holding that "Jesus performed his miracles by sorcery": O light and truth! he distinctly declares, with his own voice, as ye yourselves have recorded, that there will come to you others, employing miracles of a similar kind, who are wicked men, sorcerers.
So that Jesus himself does not deny that these works at least are not at all divine, but are the acts of wicked men. Is it not a miserable inference, to conclude from the same works that the one is God and the other sorcerers? Why ought the others, because of these acts, to be accounted wicked rather than this man, seeing they have him as their witness against himself? For he has himself acknowledged that these are not the works of a divine nature, but the inventions of certain deceivers, of wicked men. Origen wrote his refutation in 248. Sometimes quoting, sometimes paraphrasing, sometimes referring, Origen reproduces and replies to Celsus' arguments. Since accuracy was essential to his refutation of The True Doctrine, most scholars agree that Origen is a reliable source for what Celsus said. Classicist Arthur J. Droge has written that it is incorrect to refer to Celsus' perspective as polytheism. Instead, he was an "inclusive" or "qualitative" monotheist, as opposed to the Jewish "exclusive" or "quantitative" monotheism.
Celsus shows himself familiar with the story of Jewish origins. Conceding that Christians are not without success in business, Celsus wants them to be good citizens, to retain their own belief but worship the emperors and join their fellow citizens in defending the empire, it is an earnest and striking appeal on behalf of unity and mutual toleration. One of Celsus' most bitter complaints is of the refusal of Christians to cooperate with civil society, their contempt for local customs and the ancient religions; the Christians viewed these as idolatrous and inspired by evil spirits, whereas polytheists like Celsus thought of them as the works of the Daemons, or the god's ministers, who ruled mankind in his place to keep him from the pollution of mortality. Celsus attacks the Christians as feeding off faction and disunity, accuses them of converting the vulgar and ignorant, while refusing to debate wise men; as for their opinions regarding their sacred mission and exclusive holiness, Celsus responds by deriding their insignificance, comparing them to a swarm of bats, or ants creeping out of their nest, or frogs holding a symposium round a swamp, or worms in conventicle in a corner of the mud.
It is not known how many were Christians at the time of Celsus (the Jewish population of the empire may have been about 6.6-10% in a population of 60 million to quote one reference. Nixey, Catherine; the Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World. London, UK: Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-5098-1606-4. Hanegraaff, Wouter. Esotericism and the Academy: Rejected Knowledge in Western Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521196215. R. Joseph H