Re: Gnosticism, Vespasian and Titus...and Peter

Hi Charles,

Thanks for your post. It is interesting. You suggested that , "One thing to consider in analyzing the "Gnostic" elements, especially in GJohn is the identification of "The Father" that "Jesus" talks about. This figure is Vespasian and as soon as it is realized, much of GJohn becomes much more transparent."

Actually, the discussion of the "Father" in John is probably not a gnostic element at all. Jesus may very well be talking about his real father!

Gnosticism describes religious literature such as those texts found in Nag Hamadi in Egypt. They include, for example the Gospels of Thomas and Philip. What characterizes this sort of literature is the notion that an understanding of god and his plans comes from within each person through meditation and prayer. So, it is hard to see gnosticism in the father/son or king/prince scenario in the Gospels.

Now, the notion of 'the word made flesh' in John, that, for example, is a gnostic idea!

Now, once you see the father and son language as factual information, then we can try to fill in the blanks so to speak. The problem here is that any father and son will do. Maybe, maybe the father is Vespasion; maybe the father is Antipater. Once you get started...

Now using Josephus to try to pin these individuals down is quite appealing but then you realize, he was adopted by Vespasian! He was a Flavian apologist. Further, he may very well have written his "Wars" after the gospels (to him) were available. Hard to tell on that. I agree with Joseph Atwill that the texts are interconnected. I just think the gospels came first, and our man Josephus swallowed them up (helped re-write them.) He had big-time help in doing this though. It was easier than you may think, his boss was god (Domitian!)