I wish I could shed some real light here, beyond the endless traces and proofs that are possible, but it's not exactly earth shattering stuff. It's kind of like trying to find a needle in a needle stack! There's too much evidence. You posted recently about a claudiian link- there are many - but the obvious one is that Nero sent Tigranes(who had earlier been ransomed to the Romans, prior to the Parthian return of Rome's imperial standards lost by Crassus), an Arsacid, to be King of Armenia. Tigranes was brought to Roman court as a young boy, and he as well as Nero himself were tutored by none other than Epaphroditus. Tigranes was a claudian, if not by blood, then by upbringing- and arguably the eastern Claudians remained in power in the east long after Nero's demise. Tigranes' father and cognomen preceeded him in kingship, and his brother was king of Cilicia. Tigranes renounced the jewish faith in favor of the hellenic pantheon. This and the accounts of Agbarus (however you spell it!@) and others' fixation or lack therof with ritual purity (to be cheeky about it) shows a willingness to play fast and loose with whichever way the religious winds were blowing in that part of the world. Helen and her court's presence at the fall of the temple, and Titus' willingness bordering on chivalry to free them and ensure their safety is also worth a long look. Was he thinking ahead a few steps?
Even for lack of direct relationships ( such as where we can identify previously misdated contemporaries as we did in the 18th Dynasty/Davidic Israel- and then draw fresh and new conclusions about motivations and identities); the deliberate placement of the Arsacid theme (that of the Magi "endorsing" Jesus) by Epaphroditus, Suetonius, or whoever your preferred gospel author may be, would not have been deemed necessary unless there was a real reason to appeal to this constitutency.
I'm afraid my interests have taken a turn. I'm happy to lend an ear to any music that you and Joe decide to play. My new toy is Damien Mackey's thesis that Socrates and Jesus were both typed by the same authors for two audiences. Before anybody gets into a huff-Charles knows this guy but I suspect few others on the board do- I don't endorse anybody's agenda, nor do I want to get into it about Rohl's chronology or Osman's identifications. I think this Socrates thing is a throwaway idea within his stuff, but I think it is a really thought provoking idea which I would like to run with.
If you allow his redating scheme (a big, big if, mind you), then you really have a head scratcher, and you have a very nifty backhanded way of getting at the gospel authors (meaning Plato and Philo taken as pen names may reveal the true roman authors of both the dialogues and the gospels). Even if you reject it, it's worth noting the amazing parallels. Also he makes some points about Eleazar, which we have previously identified as a possible early type for the jesus story. Take a look here, about halfway down the page at the paragraph that starts: "Socrates as Jesus" http://www.specialtyinterests.net/lost_and_found_cultural_foundations.html#saj
(note- I have no affiliation to this site or the author, don't want one, and I often link to all kinds of sites that I may or may not agree with, if they have free text that I find interesting. If the site, or any site I may cite, has some religious axe to grind, I assure you, I ain't buying it, nor should you. In my world, religion is history. The metaphysical part is bunk. But I respect anybody who feels otherwise.)
Anyway, thanks for your kind words, and keep up the good work. It's about time for a new chapter from you, isn't it?
© Charles N. Pope, US Library of Congress. All rights reserved.