Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Antiquities 18 - Caiaphus, a Zealot and The Last Messiah - Edited to Jesus and John the Baptist (A Reply to Helen Bond's book Caiaphas)

This is largely a reply to Helen Bond's book on Caiaphas. There is a lot more to Caiaphas than meets the eye in the extant text of the writings attributed to Josephus.  Regardless of other considerations, the text of Ant.18.3.3 has been obviously and blatantly edited.    

Consider a text written at about the same time by Tacitus during the rule of Vespasian and his sons:  "The founder of that sect, a certain Chrest, had suffered execution in the reign of Tiberias, during the procuratorship of Pontius Pilate.  Held in check only for a time, the wicked superstition broke out once again, not only in Judea, the birthplace of the malady, but even here in the city itself."   It is hard for me to believe that Tacitus was completely truthful, but wrote under duress from his Flavian bosses.   Either that, or the text was changed by a Flavian editor.  Pontius Pilate was never a procurator, but a prefect of Roman soldiers in Casarea,  as shown by the Pilate Stone found there.  He was a long serving Roman soldier, like a modern sergeant major, of a lower status than a legate or a tribune.  

Tacitus refers to a "certain Chrest", as though this was his name?  Or was he implying there could be more than one Chrest?  And what exactly was this "malady" from a Roman point of view?  It could hardly have been the peaceful  "Christianity" that was supposed to have come from a benevolent Jesus.  Tacitus or his editor was suspiciously vague.  The "malady", a so-called "superstition", started in Judea.  The text doesn't say when it started.  It had broken "out once again". It had spread to "the city itself". This text was about something that had occurred repeatedly -  was it about attacks by zealots?  Who held the wicked superstition "in check" for a while?  You will see that I think it was king Aristobulus I the father of Agrippa I.  The "superstition" had arisen years before Tiberias's rule.   It was like a contagious disease or infection.        

Was Caiaphas, a leading agitator and rebel, zealous for the Law?  Was he like those who deposited the Scrolls in the Judean desert? And was he a Messiah?  I have concluded exactly that.   Caiaphas, a chief priest, was supported by his son Eleazar, and by a chief priest  Ananias whose daughter Caiaphas married.  Caiaphas appears on the scene in Ant. 18.2.2 exactly at the time Jesus and John the Baptist are said to have existed.  This was a time of extreme agitation by the priests for rebellion, not rebellion directly against Roman rule, but against a Herodian king Aristobulus I (and thus indirectly against Roman rule) and the prophets.  The rebel philosophy was that of the War Scroll.  There were no chief priests or high priests officially appointed at the time.  The term chief is used is used in the sense of being important.  Nor was there direct Roman rule.  The Romans considered that the Herodian kings Aristobulus I and Agrippa I were quite capable of dealing with rebellious priests.  

You will see that I think Jesus was created out of Caiaphas, and that Paul the apostle was created out of Barabbas (Eleazar) the son of Caiaphas.  The character of Paul was a Roman creation out of Barabbas.  If you were a bad boy like Barabbas you could reform and become a good boy by following the new religion of Jesus.  This is exactly the story of Paul.

That there was a predicted Messiah, or possibly previous Messiahs, is shown by the Scroll, the Messianic Rule: "He shall come at the head of the whole congregation of Israel with all his brethren, the sons of Aaron the Priests, those called to the assembly, the men of renown: and they shall sit before him, each before him in the order of his dignity.  And then the Messiah of Israel shall come...." 1QSa (Vermes).   It was intended "for all the congregation of Israel in the lasts days" (1:1).   Vermes says of 1QSa, "a mid first century BCE date may be safely proposed".  Of the War Scroll, 1QM, Vermes reckons it should be dated in the last decades of the first century BCE or at the beginning of the first century CE. But Vermes has not taken account of the fact that these were both copies of scrolls and not original, according to Golb.     

I am not too sure (and I doubt that the writer was sure) about the meaning of Messiah of Israel. May be he was thought to be a heavenly being.  I have in mind two important (chief) priests working together, Caiaphas and Ananias.  These two may have seen themselves as the two Messiahs.  'He' in: 'He shall come at the head of the whole congregation of Israel' was the priest Messiah who would summon the meeting of the Council of the Community: "This shall be the assembly of the men of renown called to the meeting of the Council of the Community when the Priest Messiah shall summon them". (See 1QSa). The community consisted of the priests and the followers of the priests from the towns and villages throughout the whole of Judea.  The Flavian editors of Antiquities covered up the fact that the rebels, sicarii, or zealots were the priests, and that they were put down by Nero's army in 66 CE for rebelling against the king and persecuting the prophets. 

The manuscripts for the Messianic Rule (1QSa), War Scroll (1QM), Temple Scroll (11QT), and 4QMMT are linked to the time in which Caiaphas and Ananias existed.  These are zealot manuscripts.  Why has no scholar recognised that Caiaphas and Ananias were zealots and Messiahs in the tradition of the Scrolls? How did the scholars miss this? In the original version of Antiquities, the Testimonium Flavianum undoubtedly applied to Caiaphas.  The beheading of Caiaphas was the origin of the story of the beheading of John the baptist  in both the writings attributed to Josephus and the New Testament.  This shows that the editors of the writings attributed to Josephus were involved in the fabrication of the New Testament.  The fictitious Jesus was created from the real Caiaphas, a rebel.  AND THE FICTITIOUS BARABBAS WAS CREATED FROM CAIAPHAS'S SON ELEAZAR WHO WAS THE SOURCE FOR PAUL.  Caiaphas's death by beheading was also the source for Jesus's fictitious execution on a Roman cross.  This latter was a creation of its Flavian authors.

So don't you think it remarkable that Caiaphas a Jewish rebel, priest and fighter was turned into Jesus, essentially a pacifist?  Was this why Jesus was created?  Was a pacifist Jesus the Roman answer to the Jewish rebellion?  The situation became more serious with other rebellions including the Bar Kokhba revolt of 132-136 CE, in which the Roman casualties really were very high compared to those in the first revolt.   

I am saying what most scholars have been saying for years, that the writings attributed to Josephus are to be treated with a high degree of suspicion. The trouble is that the same scholars then proceed to ignore what they have said and make no attempt to be specific about what they do suspect.  They simply quote the writings as though they are true, perhaps with a subtle qualification 'according to'. The conspiracy theories come from the 'orthodox' who believe everything they read. They have 'positive' proof of their ideas in the extant texts.

By a process of substituting names and events, the logical sequence of events in the history of Caiaphas falls into place.  Caiaphas was the source for Jesus and John the Baptist. Eleazar, the son of Caiaphas, was the source for Barabbas who was imprisoned, and according to the New Testament, set free.  This was originally in Antiquities Book 18, Chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the writings attributed to Josephus.  What is pure invention by the Flavian editor also becomes apparent. These chapters are greatly garbled or obfuscated because they involve Caiaphas, Jesus, John the Baptist, and Barabbas (Eleazar).  They were the first primitive Christian texts created to hide the fact that Caiaphas and Ananias were rebels.  Barabbas (Eleazar) was recognised as a zealot, but he was a priest, the son of a priest and the origin of the mythical Paul.  Under a peace treaty with Aristobulus I, he and his father Caiaphas were free to wander the Jewish diaspora.  Like Paul they continued proclaiming that the Messiah was coming.  They went everywhere to Jewish synagogues in the diaspora.   But significantly also like Paul they avoided Rome and Jerusalem.   That didn't stop their message getting through to Rome from fellow priests.    

Applying the same technique to Chapter 6, 7 and 8, we find that these were about Aristobulus II, king Agrippa's brother, and Ananias. 

Helen Bond who has spent a good part of her life writing books on Pilate and Caiaphas has not recognised the traditions of the Scrolls in Caiaphas and Barabbas (Eleazar).   Scholars, such as Lawrence Schiffman, have done (and continue to do) a great disservice  to the academic community in saying that the Scrolls were the work of a sectarian community based at Qumran.  The Scrolls were taken from the Citadel in Jerusalem to the Judean desert by the priests shortly before Nero's invasion of Judea in 66 CE.  But it has become clear that the philosophy embodied in the Scrolls was that of the priests and chief priests, and that the activities of the priests in the writings attributed to Josephus have been obfuscated.  Large chunks of these writings have been obfuscated to remove the true history in preparation for the Christian message.   For thousands of years, scholars have been deceived.   Christianity is seen to be based on lies.  Jesus and Paul have never existed.  The Moslem religion which relies on a real Jesus as a prophet is false.  

Mark Goodacre has a blog article with a similar title to the above. See I made three short comments on this particular blog, but Mark deleted them. The ASOR blog repeated his blog here:  Mark says that the History Channel programme, The Bible series, "introduces among others, the character of Caiaphas", and that "it works hard to try to understand the character and the historical context."  I don't think it tries hard enough.  By its very nature, an investigation of Caiaphas in the writings attributed to Josephus is bound to be speculative and experimental.  But the alternative is to interpret the text as it stands, and that I just cannot accept because of Flavian/Christian editors.  Mark Goodacre chooses not to answer my question: "What is an "objective" historian?" here  And he has now deleted from his blog two comments I made on prophets in the inter-testament period here: .  I find his behaviour appalling.

Joseph Caiaphas is mentioned only three times in the whole of the writings attributed to Josephus, and that is in Antiquities.  He is supposed to have been appointed as high priest by the supposed Gratus (Ant.18.2.2).  He is supposed to have been removed from the high priesthood by the supposed Vitellius (Ant.18.3.3).   Why do I say "supposed" four times? The references to appointment and removal of all high priests follow the same pattern, EASY FOR ANY EDITOR CREATING TEXT.  That is all that is ever said about the high priests.  There are no details of their activities.  Clearly the editor of the writings attributed to Josephus wanted to give the impression that the high priests were powerful, and had been appointed and removed by Roman officials, and thus had Roman authority.  The text has been added to that effect.  The appointments and removals of high priests have fairly obviously been fabricated by the Flavian editors , as have the Roman officials by whom they were apparently appointed and removed. The names of the so-called high priests were either made up, or adopted from the leaders of the priests. THERE WAS NO APPOINTMENT OF HIGH PRIESTS AFTER HEROD.   I WILL GO FURTHER, AND SAY THAT THERE WAS NO HIGH PRIEST APPOINTED AFTER THE TIME OF JUDAS THE MACCABEAN, AND NO ANIMAL SACRIFICE.  WHY WAS THE NAME OF JUDAS USED AS THE BETRAYER OF JESUS?  THE PRIESTS HATED THE MACCABEANS.  SINCE THE TIME OF JUDAS, THE PRIESTS WERE IN EXILE OUTSIDE OF THE TEMPLE. THAT IS WHAT THE SCROLLS AND THE WRITINGS ATTRIBUTED TO JOSEPHUS TELL US. 

The Flavians invented Christianity with a belief in a sacrificed Jesus to accommodate the Christian religion into the Roman system of sacrifice.  Jesus became a god, just one of many in the Roman pantheon of gods. Judas was made the betrayer of Jesus by his Flavian editors because Judas was a priest who turned prophet and against sacrifice.    

So what was the political situation back then?  Was Caiaphas a more important person in the history than the extant history would indicate?  He was certainly not high priest.  He may have been a chief priest, but not a high priest.

On page 100 of her book Caiaphas, Helen Bond states four reasons given by other scholars why Mark's Gospel, the earliest and most original, doesn't give the name of the high priest. She disagrees with all four.  She gives a fifth reason on pages 107/108.  She says Mark would have known about Caiaphas, but doesn't name him because he wanted to class all Jewish leaders the same, as rejecting early Christianity.  I have a sixth reason.  Mark gives no name because no high priest was appointed (supporting my point about the originality of Mark).  Mark didn't know the name of anyone who was called high priest.  That there even was a high priest was a Markan creation.  This was later developed in the other Gospels so that we have high priests with the names Caiaphas and Annas.  Thus we see the earliest written development of Christianity in the writings attributed to Josephus.  

The Political Situation

The Herodians were in power.  In his book, the Herodian dynasty, on page 193, Kokkinos writes:"However, is it possible that a royal court of such magnitude, a ruling centre for over half a century, with its established political, economic and military mechanisms, lost its well placed manpower in a spectacular overnight disintegration? Could the Romans have replaced all the people of experience, for example in local administration, with their own nominees, of which we hear nothing,"  The answer is that it wasn't possible.  The Herodian palaces, courts, estates and fortresses were everywhere. There was thus no imposition of Roman rule early in the first century.  The Flavian editors have deliberately edited the writings attributed to Josephus to remove practically all trace of first century Herodian influence in Judea.  They also made a vain attempt to ascribe the ruling power to the priests. 

After the death of Herod, the Jews had been ruled first by Herod's son Aristobulus I.  Thus Aristobulus I, a Hasmonean, "one who was of great dignity came at this time into Judea, being sent by Caesar to be king over the Jews.  But the priests took the report of a king heinously".  (Readers of Ant.18.1.1 will no doubt recognise this).  This was a straight transfer of power from Herod to Aristobulus I.  Similarly, on Aristobulus I's death (see below) in 34 CE, power was transferred to his son Agrippa I, who was then 44.

Caiaphas and the Gospel of Mark

How much of the following text in the Gospel of Mark (apart from what is obvious and fanciful) was derived from the life of Caiaphas?  Did Caiaphas ever have any reason to go in the desert near the river Jordan, Nabatea and Machaerus?  Did 'all the 'people' of Jerusalem go into the desert to him?  Was his mantra 'prepare the way for the Lord' or 'prepare the way of Him'. (1QS.8)   Was the Lord (Him) one who was more powerful than he was, the thongs of whose sandals he was not worthy to stoop down and untie? Why did 'the people' go out to him?  Was it to hear the Law of Moses being taught?  Was this gathering to form an army?  - "Furthermore, Moses taught us, 'Thou art in the midst of us, a mighty God and terrible, causing all our enemies to flee before us.' " (1QM.10.,Vermes). Was the leather belt around his waste really a belt?  Shouldn't it be a sword?    Did 'the people' practise ritual immersion before going into battle? - "They shall all be freely enlisted for war, perfect in spirit and body and prepared for the Day of vengeance. And no man shall go down with them on the day of battle who is impure...for the holy angels shall be with their hosts." (1QM.7, Vermes).  Did he at one stage make peace with Aristobulus I by giving up his son Eleazar and some others as hostages?  Was this son the source of the New Testament Barabbas?  Early in the reign of Agrippa, did Caiaphas mount an attack on the fortress of Machaerus?  Was Caiaphas's army defeated and was Caiaphas beheaded by Aristobulus as punishment, or was he killed during the battle?  And did his 'disciples' come for his body and place it in his family tomb?  Was the following text of Mark written with this in mind?  

1.2.It is written in Isaiah the prophet: "I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way"
1.3.--  "a voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.' "  
1.4.And so John came, baptising in the desert region, and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
1.5.The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him, confessing their sins, They were baptised by him in the river Jordan.
1.6.John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt round his waist, and he ate locust’s and wild honey. 
1.7.And this was his message: "After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie......  
1.14.After John was put in prison, 

And how dependent was the following fanciful story in the Gospel of Mark of John the Baptist's beheading on what happened to Caiaphas?  In the extant text, why should Herod have feared John?  In reality, it was Aristobulus I who feared Caiaphus.  So we see that the following story in Mark was concocted: 

6.16.But when Herod heard this, he said, “John, the man I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!"
6.17.For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested , and he had him bound and put in prison.  He did this because of Herodias his brother Philip’s wife whom he had married.
6.18.For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife”.
6.19.So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him.  But she was not able to
6.20.because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled, yet he liked to listen to him.
6.21Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday, Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee.
6.22.When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask me anything you want, and I will give it to you.”
6.23.And he promised her with an oath, “Whatever you ask, I will give you, up to half my kingdom”.
6.24.She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?”  “The head of John the Baptist,” she answered.
6.25.At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: “I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter.
6.26.The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her.
6.27.So immediately he sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, and
6.28.brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother.
6.29.On hearing this, John’s disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb. -  Was this Caiaphas's tomb?  Were John's disciples Caiaphas's fellow zealots?

Pilate and Caiaphas 

In her paper Joseph Caiaphas: In Search of a Shadow, (, Helen Bond writes:
"After spending most of my twenties writing a monograph on Pontius Pilate, I have now spent the first half of my thirties writing about Caiaphas. Throughout the research, I was continually struck by one rather odd fact: whereas everyone had heard of Pilate, few people had heard of Caiaphas".  Now isn't that strange?  To put it another way, did it ever occur to her to ask why there should be much written about Pilate and little about Caiaphas? Couldn't she put two and two together?  Couldn't she have asked why Pilate is played up and Caiaphas down, as though Caiaphas was replaced by Pilate?  If everyone had read the writings attributed to Josephus (as well as the synoptic Gospels) the imbalance would be apparent.  And both Pilate's and Caiaphas's character would be revealed as different from what is understood.  Pilate was the sergeant major for the Roman soldiery based in Ceasarea, as his inscription on the Pilate Stone attests. Indeed in the New Testament, Pilate has been brought forward in time from the twenties to the thirties CE. 

So we have, in the New Testament, Pilate and Caiaphas wanting the death of Jesus who they regarded as a kind of king.  In Ant.18.1.1 we also have two people who were apparently dissatisfied with a supposed Roman taxation?  My reverse editorial suggests that these two people were Caiaphas and his son Eleazar.  They were not dissatisfied with Roman taxation, but with a newly appointed king, Aristobulus I who was not supportive of priests. 

Ant.18.1.1.  - "there was one [Judas] {Caiaphas}, a [Gaulonite] {a priest}, [of a city whose name was Gamala,] who, taking with him [Sadduc] {Eleazar}, [a Pharisee] {his son}, became zealous to draw them to a revolt, who both said that this [taxation] {king} was no better than an introduction to [slavery] {impurity}, and exhorted the [nation] {priests} to assert [their liberty] {the Law};"  

Judas of Gamala merely harked back to Judas Maccabeus.  The Flavian historians (ex priests) hated Judas Maccabeus.  Judas was a name that suited their agenda.  Sadduc a pharisee was clearly an invention.  Pharisees did not exist back then - they are not referred to in the Scrolls.  The old arguments that the priests had with Herod were continuing. They were to do with their Law, as in 4QMMT.  This had nothing to do with rebellion against Rome.  That was fabrication.  'Revolt' against Romans was not an issue then.  That was to follow.  It was to do with the hatred the priests had for a hasmonean king, Aristobulus I, and the Herodians, who favoured the prophets.  The revolt was against the king, newly appointed by Caesar.  

Ant.18.1.1. - "NOW [Cyrenius] {Aristobulus}, a [Roman senator] {Hasmonean}, and 
one who [had gone through other magistracies, and had passed through them till he had been consul, and one who, on other accounts,] was of great dignity came at this time into [Syria] {Judea}, with a few others, being sent by Caesar to be [a judge of that Nation and to take an account of their substance.  Coponius also, a man of the equestrian order, was sent together with him, to have the supreme power] {king} over the Jews. [Moreover, Cyrenius came himself into Judea, which was now added to the province of Syria, to take an account of their substance, and to dispose of Archelaus’s money;]"

That the above passage has been edited is given away by the repeat of "one who" - a common technique used by the editors.  Cyrenius never did come to take an account of Archelaus's money.  Who was to get what had been established in Herod's will.  That Archelaus was made king of Judea is clearly a fabrication.  Coponius being sent to have supreme power is a myth - reference to him was extra padding for the editors to separate "being sent by Caesar" from "king". Those who inherited power were the Herodians.  And Judea was not added the province of Syria. 

There never was an Agrippa II as such.  The son of Agrippa I was killed at Masada. (See what Happened to Agrippa I's Children Bernice and Agrippa 'II' here:  In Jewish history, Agrippa I is called Agrippa the Great, similar to Herod the Great.  No-one gets a name like that unless they have held power for a long time, that is a good deal longer than the four years from 41 to 44 CE, as generally believed.   The Herodian kings obeyed the law (in a limited sense) and did not allow their image to appear on coins, except for Agrippa I during the time of 41 to 44 CE.  It was Agrippa I who was ruling from 34 to the 60s CE.  He was in his seventies, when he was murdered by the priests. The history of Agrippa 'II' recorded in the writings attributed to Josephus is a complete myth.

Ant.18.1.1. "[They] {He} also said that God would not otherwise be assisting to them than upon their joining with one another in [such councils as might be successful and for their own advantage; and this especially, if they would set about great exploits] {obeying the Law}, and not grow weary in executing the same; so [men] {the priests} received what [they] {he} said with pleasure, and this bold attempt proceeded to a great height."

Caiaphas was thus instrumental in getting the priests to strictly obey the Law.  "Received what he said with pleasure" is repeated in the Testimonium in 18.3.3. (see below).

Ant.18.1.1."There were [also] very great robberies and murder of our [principal men] {prophets}. This was done in pretense indeed for the public welfare, but in reality for the hopes of gain to themselves; whence arose [seditions, and from them] murders of [men] {prophets}, which sometimes fell on those of their own [people] {order}, by the madness of [these men] {priests} towards one another, while their desire was that none of the [adverse party] {prophets} might be left. And sometimes [on their enemies;] famine also coming upon us, reduced us to the last degree of despair, as did also the taking and demolishing of cities; [nay, the sedition at last increased so high, that the very temple of God was burnt down by their enemies’ fire.]  Such were the consequences of this, that the customs of our fathers were altered, and such a change was made, as added a mighty weight toward bringing all to destruction, which these men occasioned by their thus conspiring together; for [Judas] {Caiaphas} and [Sadduc] {Eleazar} excited [a fourth philosophic sect] {the priests} among us and [had a great many followers therein], filled our civil government with tumults at present, and laid the foundations of our future miseries [by this system of philosophy, which we were before unacquainted withal, concerning which I will discourse a little], and this the rather because the infection which spread thence among the younger [sort] {priests}, who were zealous for it [, brought the public to destruction]. 

Here we clearly see that the original writer is on the side of the "adverse party", the prophets, who were being murdered by the priests.  The original writer was a prophet himself - he describes famine as coming on "us".  The priests had attacked the places where the prophets lived.  They tried to starve them to death.  

The editor dissimulates with his "system of philosophy, which we were beforehand unacquainted".  Of course he was "acquainted" with it.  It was a movement of priests who had been barred from the temple.  The same editor makes this text seem to be about revolution against Roman rule by referring to  the burning of the temple by Titus (a later isolated event, and clearly an interpolation).  

The FOURTH philosophical sect is also obviously an interpolation in an attempt to confuse the issue.  Having created a fourth sect,  by implication there must three others, which the editor then goes on to fabricate.  What the original prophetic writer was going to talk about were two groups, or orders,  priests and prophets.  The Flavian editor refers to one group as one that had "this system of philosophy" which "spread thence among the younger sort".  It was an attempt to make out that this was a new movement.  This movement had written most of the Scrolls found in the Judean desert.  They referred to their enemies, the prophets, as "seekers of smooth things".  The Flavian editor also knows that it was a movement that was defeated.  He says it "brought the public to destruction".  In fact, this was not the "destruction of the public".  The destruction referred to was the destruction of the temple by Titus in CE70, and the killing of many prophets by Titus's army.  It led to the transportation of 800 or so prophets to Rome for Vespasian's misclaimed triumph over the whole Jewish nation.  He even had coins with Judea Capta inscribed.  This was after a supposed campaign over a large area of land through several countries on a vast scale with large numbers of captives.  The priests had been defeated in 66CE by Nero's army. (See my article here:

Aristobulus I Built Homes for the Prophets (Ant.18.2.3)

Aristobulus I built homes for the prophets, in Ein Gedi.  There are warm baths at Ein Gedi.   

Ant. 18.2.3. And now [Herod the tetrarch] {Aristobulus I}, who was in great favour with [Tiberius] {the prophets}, built [a city of the same name with him, and called it Tiberias] {houses for them}. He built [it] {them} in the best part of [Galilee] {Judea}, at the [lake of Gennesareth] {city of Ein Gedi}.  There are warm baths at a little distance from it. 

[in a village named Emmaus.  Strangers came and inhabited this city; a great number of the inhabitants were Galileans also; and]

Many were [necessitated] {invited} by [Herod] {Aristobulus I} to come thither out of the country belonging to him[, and were by force compelled to be its inhabitants]; some of them were [persons] {prophets} of condition. He also admitted poor [people] {prophets}, such as those that were collected from all parts[, to dwell in it]. Nay, some of them were [not quite free-men] {initiates}, and these he was benefactor to, and made them [free] {prophets} in great numbers; 

Nachman Ben-Yehuda wrote here : While the Sicarii were in Masada, it is clear that they raided nearby villages. One of the "peaks" of these raids was the attack on Ein-gedi. According to Josephus, the Sicarii on Masada attacked Ein- gedi in the following ferocious manner:"...they came down by night, without being discovered... and overran a small city called Engaddi: - in which expedition they prevented those citizens that could have stopped them, before they could arm themselves and fight them. They also dispersed them, and cast them out of the city. As for such that could not run away, being women and children, they slew of them above seven hundred" (p. 537). (See War 4.7.2) 

The usual way of those who wish to convey fiction as fact is to say 'according to'.  

Ben Yehudah adds: Afterward, the Sicarii raiders carried all the food supplies from Ein-gedi to Masada. The actual words in the writings attributed to Josephus are: "Afterward, when they had carried everything out of the houses, and had seized upon all the fruits that were in a flourishing condition, they brought them into Masada." 

Ben-Yehudah is keen to tell us that that it was Sicarii raiders who took the food away and carried it to Masada.  He left out the little word 'houses'.  Of course Sicarii were the Flavian editor's substitution for priests.  And these events did not occur in 70, but in 65/66.  The priests didn't take the food into Masada.  This was a story that has been moved in time to 70 to be incorporated into Vespasian's fictitious account in War 4.7.2.   It was part of the general persecution of the prophets by the priests during the final days of Agrippa I's reign. The houses had been built by his father Aristobulus for the prophets (obfuscated with the name Essenes).

Aristobulus I and the Scrolls (Ant.18.3.1)
(and Philo, On the Embassy to Gaius 38 (299))

In Ant.18.3.1, the editor has substituted Pilate for Aristobulus I.  Pilate was only a prefect in Caesarea (where an inscription to him was found).  The "ornaments" were the Scrolls that the priests used to parade into the temple.  The priests wanted them kept in the temple. Aristobulus disputed with the priests as to where the Scrolls should be kept.  The priests thought they should be kept in the temple, and they came to Jerusalem in large numbers to protest - this was also an indication that the priests were barred from Jerusalem and the temple.  In former times the high priests had entered the temple carrying the Scrolls- "former" indicating that there was no official high priest at the time. 

The king was in no mood for the any monkey business by the priests, and his guard  surrounded them.  The priests were then ordered home otherwise they would face the consequences.  

The bravery of the 'people' supposedly baring their necks was the fiction of the later Flavian priest Joesphus writing the 'history' for Vespasian.  We will see why  in the next section. 

Ant.18.3.1."BUT now [Pilate] {Aristobulus I}, the [procurator] {king} of Judea, [removed the army] {kept the Scrolls} [from Caesarea to Jerusalem] {in the Citadel},

[to take their winter quarters there, in order to abolish the Jewish laws. So he introduced Caesar's effigies which were upon the ensigns, and brought them into the city; whereas our law forbids us the very making of images;]

on which account the former [procurators] {high priests} were wont to make their entry into the [city] {temple} [such ensigns as had not those ornaments].  

[Pilate was the first who brought those images to Jerusalem, and set them up there; which was done without the knowledge of the people, because it was done in the night time; but as soon as they knew it,]

[they] {The priests} came in multitudes to [Caesarea] {Jerusalem}, and interceded with [Pilate] {Aristobulus I} many days that he would remove the [images] {Scrolls}; and when he would not grant their requests, [because it would tend to the injury of Caesar], while yet they persevered in their request. 

The incident of the 'ensigns' in Ant.18.3.1 is the same as that of the 'shields' incident in Embassy 38 (299).  They are both garbled accounts about the Scrolls.  
The priests were displeased with the fact that Aristobulus I had refused to release the Scrolls from the temple Citadel where they would have been secure, presumably under guard.  Quite clearly, Pilate was not involved. 

Caiaphas - THE TESTIMONIUM FLAVIANUM  (Ant.18.3.3)

A Higgs moment for me.  The Flavian editors used Caiaphas to portray a fictitious Jesus.  We have here the last minute intervention of a Flavian editor before his version became public. This was extreme irony and mockery.  Eisenman was right when he said to me that the Roman (Flavian) historians were having fun.  This short passage supposedly about Jesus was originally a small part of the history of Caiaphas.  The original passage (my reconstruction) is in context with the reconstructed text that comes before and after the Testimonium about Caiaphas.  Caiaphas was the exact opposite of the text for Jesus - evil, wicked, a liar lends better to the context.   

Geza Vermes has reconstructed the Testimonium.  Geza Vermes's reconstruction is not in context with the text  that comes before and after the Testimonium of Ant.18.3.3.  He has not attempted to reconstruct adjacent text, but merely the Testimonium in isolation. See 

Helen Bond has also reconstructed the passage (see page 61 of her book).   In that reconstruction, she left out the entire important phrase "if indeed one ought to call him a man".  She used the Loeb translation which has "if indeed one ought" , whereas the Whiston translation has instead "If it be lawful".  "Lawful" is important  in a Jewish context, especially if you are referring to priests.  My reconstructed  phrase: "if it be lawful to call him a priest", now makes sense and cannot be removed.  Secondly, she has not identified the term "man" substituted by the Flavian editor for "priest" .   Similarly, Bond treats the Testimonium in isolation.  

The original writer was a prophet, and no friend of Caiaphas.  Hence Caiaphas was evil.  He wasn't to be called a priest.  He did wicked works. True to later character, he was a liar - a teacher of those who enjoyed being lied to and who would follow him.  A Zadokite.  In the Scrolls, the pot called the kettle black, ie the Zadokites called the leader of 'the seekers of smooth things' The Liar, exactly opposite to what the Flavian editors called Jesus.   


Caiaphas was seen by the priests as a Messiah in the sense used in the Scrolls.  But from the prophets view, it was predicted in the Prophets that false Messiahs would come.  It is implied that the sons of Zadok continued as a movement after the death of Caiaphas during the reign of Aristobulus I.  The phrase "are not extinct at this day" is an indication that this was written after the events - during the reign of Agrippa the Great. (See Ant.18.5.2).

3. Now there was about this time [Jesus] {Caiaphas}, [a wise] {an evil} [man] {priest}, if it be lawful to call him a [man] {priest}; for he was a doer of [wonderful] {wicked} works, a teacher of such men as receive the [truth] {a lie} with pleasure. He drew over to him [both] many of the [Jews] {priests} [and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ]. And when [Pilate] {Aristobulus I}, at the suggestion of the [principal men] {prophets} among us, had condemned him, to [the cross] {death}, those that [loved] {followed} him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them [alive again the third day] {as a Messiah}, as the divine prophets had foretold [these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him].  And the [tribe] {sons} of [Christians] {Zadok}, so [named from him] {called}, are not extinct at this day.

Caiaphas's Wife Sends Him Money To Aid His Cause (Ant.18.3.4,5)

Ant.18.3.4 starts with: "About the same time also another sad calamity put the Jews into disorder; and certain shameful practices happened about the temple of Isis that was at Rome.  I will now first take notice of  the wicked attempt about the temple of Isis, and will then give an account of the Jewish affairs."  The first account (Ant.18.3.4) is  extremely garbled. The second (Ant.18.3.5) is also garbled but less so.

Both accounts are supposed to have occurred in Rome.  Each account involved a rich woman, Paulina (18.3.4), and Fulvia (18.3.5).  Each account involved a man, Mundus (18.3.4) who was wicked (although not stated to be wicked), and 'a man who was a Jew' (18.3.5) who was wicked.  Saturninus is the husband of Paulina (18.3.4), and coincidentally another Saturninus (18.3.5) is the husband of Fulvia.   In 18.3.4, some of Isis's priests were to receive a large amount of money.  In 18.3.5. 'the men'  received 'purple and gold' from Fulvia and 'spent the money themselves'.   In both accounts Tiberias mounts an inquiry.  In 18.3.4, Tiberias examined the priests who caused 'injuries' and ordered their execution.  In 18.3.5, Tiberias 'ordered all the Jews to be expelled from Rome'.  It is difficult to see 18.3.4 and 18.3.5 as unrelated stories.  It is even more difficult to believe that these stories didn't have anything to do with what has gone before (and comes afterwards) related to Caiaphas.  

In 18.3.4, "the oldest" priest went to Paulina and told her that he was sent by the "god Anubis" and "enjoined her to come to him", which she did.  She declared among her friends that the "god Anubis" had appeared to her, and "how great a value she put upon this favour".  The god was Mundus who "took to myself the name of Anubis".  Mundus was Caiaphas who had declared himself as a Messiah (the god Anubis).  "Paulina" was married to "Saturninus", a foil for "Mundus".  "Mundus" was "a man very high in the equestrian order" (in reality "a man very high in the priestly order").  "Paulina" was the wife of Caiaphas, and the daughter of Annas - she had dignity in her ancestry and was wealthy.  She considered herself favoured in being married to the Messiah - like Mary in the New Testament.  It was her duty to send the Messiah money to fund a rebel army being assembled out in the Judean desert. 

Caiaphas "had been driven out of his [own country] {Jerusalem}" "by the fear he was under of punishment"....; "but in all respects a wicked man".  (See 18.3.5)  "He then living [at Rome] {in Nebatea}, professed to instruct men in [the wisdom of] the Laws of Moses" .  He gathered other men, "entirely of the same character with himself, to be his partners".  "Fulvia", Annas's daughter, supplied them with money.  [Tiberias] {Aristobulus I} found out.  He "punished all the [Jews] {priests} "who were unwilling to become [soldiers] {prophets} on account of keeping the laws of their fathers".        

How the Prophets made a Tumult and Caiaphas Killed Many of Them.
How Caiaphas was Accused by the Prophets.  Aristobulus I Made Peace with Caiaphas, but Took Caiaphas's Son as Hostage (Ant.18.4.1-5)

In its original form, this passage of Ant. 18.4.1-5 had absolutely nothing to do with Vitellius who was Roman propaganda interpolated into the story.  In 18.4.4, the editor introduces some history completely unrelated to Jewish history.  But the text does contain a few words that are applicable to the real story - e.g. "persuaded" and the name of Caiaphas's son "Eleazar".  True to character, Caiaphas "thought lying of little consequence".  

1.BUT the [nation of the Samaritans] {prophets} did not escape without tumults. [The man] {Caiaphas} who excited them to it, was one who thought lying a thing of little consequence, and who contrived every thing so that the [multitude] {prophets} might be {dis}pleased; so he bid them to get together upon Mount [Gerrazim] {Zion}, which is by them looked upon as the most holy of all mountains, and assured them, that when they were come thither, he would show them [those sacred vessels] {the high priests vestments and ornaments} [which were laid under that place, because Moses put them there]. So they came thither armed, and thought the discourse of [the man] {Caiaphas} improbable; [and as they abode at a certain village, which was called Tirathaba,] they got the rest together to them, and desired to go up the mountain in a great multitude together; but [Pilate] {Caiaphas} prevented their going up, by seizing upon the road[s] with a great band of [horsemen and foot-men] {priests}, who fell upon those that were gotten together [in the village]; and when it came to an action, some of them they slew, and others of them they put to flight

[, and took a great many alive, the principal of which, and also the most potent of those that fled away, Pilate ordered to be slain.
2.But when this tumult was appeased, the Samaritan senate sent an embassy to
Vitellius, a man that had been consul, and who was now president of Syria, and]

{The prophets} accused [Pilate] {Caiaphas} of the murder of those that were killed;
for that they did not go to [Tirathaba] {the mountain} in order to [revolt from] {fight} the [Romans] {priests} [, but to escape the violence of Pilate]. So [Vitellius] {Aristobulus I}

[sent Marcellus, a friend of his, to take care of the affairs of Judea , and]

ordered [Pilate] {Caiaphas} to [go to Rome] {come to Jerusalem}, to answer before [the emperor to] {him} the accusations of the [Jews] {prophets}.

So [Pilate] {Caiaphas}, [when he had tarried ten years in Judea,] made haste to [Rome] {Jerusalem}, and this in obedience to the orders of [Vitellius] {Aristobulus I}, which he durst not contradict;

[but before he could get to Rome, Tiberius was dead.
3.But Vitellius came into Judea, and went up to Jerusalem; it was at the time of that festival which is called the Passover.] 

 4. Moreover, Tiberius sent a letter to [Vitellius] {Aristobulus I}, and [commanded] {persuaded} him to make [a league of friendship] {peace} with [Artabanus, the king of Parthia] {Caiaphas}; for while he was his enemy, 

[he terrified him, because he had taken Armenia away from him, lest he should proceed further, and told him]

he should no otherwise trust him than upon his giving him hostages, and especially his son [Artabanus] {Eleazar}.  

[Upon Tiberius's writing thus to Vitellius, by the offer of great presents of money 
, he persuaded both the king of Iberia and the king of Albania to make no delay, but to fight against Artabanus; and although they would not do it themselves, yet did they give the Scythians a passage through their country, and opened the Caspian gates to them, and brought them upon Artabanus.  So Armenia was again taken from the Parthians, and the country of Parthia was filled with war, and the principal of their men were slain, and all things were in disorder among them: the king's son also himself fell in these wars, together with many ten thousands of his army. Vitellius had also sent such great sums of money to Artabanus's father's kinsmen and friends, that he had almost procured him to be slain by the means of those bribes which they had taken. And when Artabanus perceived that the plot laid against him was not to be avoided, because it was laid by the principal men, and those a great many in number, and that it would certainly take effect, — when he had estimated the number of those that were truly faithful to him, as also of those who were already corrupted, but were deceitful in the kindness they professed to him, and were likely, upon trial, to go over to his enemies, he made his escape to the upper provinces, where he afterwards raised a great army out of the Dahae and Sacre, and fought with his enemies, and retained his principality.]

5.When [Tiberius] {Aristobulus I} had [heard of these things] {read this letter}, he desired to have a league of friendship made between him and [Artabanus] {Caiaphas}; and when, upon this invitation, he received the proposal kindly, [Artabanus] {Caiaphas} and [Vitellius] {Aristobulus I} went to [Euphrates] {the Jordan}, and as a bridge was laid over the river], they each of them came with their guards about them, and met one another on the midst of the bridge .  And when they had agreed upon the terms of peace [Herod, the tetrarch] {Aristobulus I} erected a rich tent on the midst of the passage, and made them a feast there. [Artabanus] {Caiaphas} also, not long afterward, sent his son [Darius] {Eleazar} as an hostage, [with many presents, among which there was] a man [seven cubits] {four and a half cubits} tall, a [Jew] {priest} he was by birth, [and his name was Eleazar,] who, for his [tallness] {smallness}, was called a [giant] {midget}.  After which [Vitellius] {Aristobulus} went to [Antioch] {Jerusalem}, and [Artabanus] {Caiaphas} to [Babylon] {Nabataea?}; but [Herod the tetrarch] {Aristobulus I} being desirous to give Caesar the [first] information that they had obtained hostages, sent posts with letters, wherein he had accurately described all the particulars.

The real name of Darius is given away by the phrase "and his name was Eleazar".  Eleazar was supposed to be seven cubits (about 10 feet) tall.  Craig Evans, in a class on NT backgrounds said that the average height for a man at the time was 5'2".  St Paul was supposed to have been 4'6".  So the height of seven cubits about 10 feet is more than likely a Flavian sarcastic lie.  Eleazar was thus the son of Caiaphas, and a priest.  He was the Barabbas who in the New Testament was put in prison and who the Jews (the priests) wanted released. 

(See my Article: )  Eleoneus the son of Cantheras (Ant.19.8.1) were probably garbled names for Eleazar and Caiaphas.  Elioneus was supposed to have been made high priest.  This is an example of how the Flavian editors arbitrarily invented names.   

[, and had left nothing for the consular Vitellius to inform him of.  But when Vitellius's letters were sent, and Caesar had let him know that he was acquainted with the affairs already, because Herod had given him an account of them before,]

[Vitellius] {Aristobulus I} was very much troubled at it; and supposing that he had been thereby a greater sufferer than he really was, he kept up a secret anger upon this occasion, till he could be revenged on [him] {Caiaphas}, which he was after [Caius] {Agrippa} had taken the [government] {kingdom}. 

The Death of Aristobulus I (Ant.18.4.6) 

The death of Aristobulus I is recorded in the writings attributed to Josephus in obfuscated text.  (See Ant.18.4.6).  Herod, his father died in 4 BC.  Tiberias ruled from 14 to 37 CE.  Aristobulus I died in the twentieth year of the reign of Tiberias that is in 34 CE, after being king of Judea 37 years. Given that these dates are imprecise,  if Aristobulus I began to rule on Herod's death in 4 BC, and he ruled for 37 years, then he could have died in 34 CE.  And Agrippa I, his son, began his reign in 34 CE.  The extant text pointedly obfuscates: "for he left no sons behind him", where 'he' should be Aristobulus I, who did leave his sons Agrippa, Aristobulus II and Herod of Chalcis.

The Testimonium to Christ and Christians occurs in Ant.18.3.3.  Thus Jesus is supposed to have existed during the reign of Aristobulus I (assuming that no change was made in the position of the text).

Ant. 18.4.6. About this time it was that [Philip] {Aristobulus I}, Herod's ' [brother] {son}, departed this life, in the twentieth year of the reign of Tiberius, after he had been [tetrarch of Trachonitis and Gaulanitis, and] {king} of the nation of the [Bataneans also,] {Jews} thirty-seven years. He had showed himself a person of moderation and quietness in the conduct of his life and government; he constantly lived in [that country] {Judea} which was subject to him; he used to make his progress with a few chosen friends; his tribunal also, on which he sat in judgment, followed him in his progress; and when any one met him who wanted his assistance, he made no delay, but had his tribunal set down immediately, wheresoever he happened to be, and sat down upon it, and heard his complaint: he there ordered the guilty that were convicted to be punished, and absolved those that had been accused unjustly. He died at [Julias] {Jerusalem}; and when he was carried to that monument which he had already erected for himself beforehand, he was buried with great pomp. His principality [Tiberius] {Agrippa I} took [, for he left no sons behind him, and added it to the province of Syria, but gave order that the tributes which arose from it should be collected, and laid up in his tetrachy.] 

Agrippa I's Succession

The text "his principality Tiberias took" is a complete lie.  "His principality" was inherited 
by Agrippa I.  Agrippa I is first introduced completely out of the blue (the editor had not mentioned Agrippa I before) in the created text of Ant.18.5.3: "but Agrippa, the son of Aristobulus, went up to Rome, a year before the death of Tiberius, in order to treat of some affairs with the emperor, if he might be permitted so to do."  Kokkinos wrote, p195 of the Herodian Dynasty: "No Herodian isolation should be postulated under the prefects, since the Herods would not have emerged so suddenly in vital positions some 30 years after they had effectively abandoned their public functions."  Kokkinos was referring to the apparent 'sudden' appearance of Agrippa I.  There were no ruling prefects as such, and the rule of the Herods was continuous and seamless in Judea, as we shall see.  

Agrippa Declares War on Caiaphas Army - the death of Caiaphas by Agrippa's General (Ant.18.5.1)

It wasn't 'Herod's' army that was destroyed, but Caiaphas's zealot army.   The priests were exiled from the temple with time on their hands.  They were itching for a fight with Agrippa's forces.  The War scroll describes their mindset.  The Flavian editor has falsified the history. He has created a fanciful story involving Herod the Tetrarch (Herod's brother), king Aretas, Aretas's daughter who the Tetrarch married, and Herodias who the Tetrarch fell in love with.  Whilst there may be some truth in this, it has been used to completely obfuscate the history of Caiaphas.  

Caiaphas's plan was to attack the fortress of Machaerus while Agrippa was in Rome, before he came to take his position as king.  Agrippa got wind of this and informed his general at Machaerus who was put on alert.  Caiaphas thought he could mount a surprise attack.

18.5.1. [About this] {At the} time [Aretas] {Agrippa I} {was crowned} [the] king,

[ of Arabia Petrea, and Herod had a quarrel on the account following. 
Herod the tetrarch had, married the daughter of Aretas, and had lived with her a great while; but when]

he was [once] at Rome.

[he lodged with Herod, who was his brother indeed, but not by the same mother; for this Herod was the son of the high priest Simon's daughter. However, he fell in love with Herodias, this last Herod's wife, who was the daughter of Aristobulus their brother, and the sister of Agrippa the Great.]

[This man]

{Agrippa I} ventured to talk to [him] {Tiberias} about {changing} [a marriage] {a peace treaty} between [them] {Caiaphas and Aristobulus}, 

[which address, when she admitted, an agreement was made for her to change
her habitation, and come to him]

as soon as he should return from Rome. 

[One article of this marriage also was this, that he should divorce Aretas's daughter.]

So [Antipas] {Agrippa} [when he had made this agreement], sailed to [Rome] {Judea}; but

[when he had done there the business he went about, and was returned again, his wife]

{Caiaphus} having discovered the agreement he had made with [Herodias] {Tiberias},

[and having learned it before he had notice of her knowledge of the whole design, she desired him to send her]

{went} to {attack} Machaerus,

[which is a place in the borders of the dominions of Aretas and Herod, without informing him of any of her intentions; accordingly Herod sent her thither, as]

thinking [his wife] {Agrippa} had not perceived anything;

Now [she] {Agrippa} had sent a good while before to Machaerus, which was subject to

[her father and so all things necessary for her journey were made ready for her by]

the general of [Aretas's] {Agrippa’s} army;

[and by that means she soon came into Arabia, under the conduct of the several generals, who carried her from one to another successively; and she soon came to her father,]

and told him of [Herod's] {Caiaphus’s} intentions.  

[So Aretas made this the first occasion of his enmity between him and Herod, who had also some quarrel with him about their limits at the country of Gamalitis.]

So [they raised] {the} armies on both sides, [and] prepared for war,

[and sent their generals to fight instead of themselves;]

and when they had joined battle, ALL [Herod's] {Caiaphus’s} army was destroyed

[, by the treachery of some fugitives, though they were of the tetrarchy of Philip joined with Aretas's army. So Herod wrote about these affairs to Tiberius, who being very angry at the attempt made by Aretas, wrote to Vitellius to make war upon him, and either to take him alive, and bring him to him in bonds, or to kill him, and send him his head. This was the charge that Tiberius gave to the president of Syria].  
The Death of Caiaphus (the Origin of John the Baptist) (Ant.18.5.2)

Was the instruction given by Tiberias quite as graphically explicit?  Was it to kill Caiaphas and send him his head?  Or was it to simply behead him and make an end of him?   Whatever, one cannot escape from the coincidence that in Ant.18.5.1, Tiberias gives a command to behead someone, and in Ant.18.5.2, someone is beheaded.  It was about the same person, the zealot, Zadokite priest Caiaphas.  The story about John the Baptist is complete fabrication, as it is in the New Testament.  John the Baptist is shown to be a substitute for Caiaphas.  Acts 12:1-4 is a fictitious story about James and Peter and king Herod.  It was really about Caiaphas, his son Eleazar who was in prison as a hostage, and king Agrippa. (See

The Herodian fortress of Machaerus was controlled by Agrippa, not Aretas. 

Vitellius appears again in 18.5.3 supposedly to fight Aretas, but apparently he was excused from the battle because the Jews didn’t want to see the ensigns carried by the Roman soldiers.  Vitellius then supposedly goes to Jerusalem in the company of Herod the Tetrarch to offer sacrifice. I ask you!  Finally, Vitellius disappears back to Antioch without achieving anything, apart from the editor's purpose.

The real sequel is this from 18.5.3: “But when on the fourth day letters came to [him] {Tiberias}, which informed him of the death of [Tiberius] {Caiaphas}, he obliged the [multitude] {Jews} to take an oath of fidelity to [Caius] {Agrippa};” You bet he did!  Tiberias wasn't dead yet!

18.5.2.Now some of the [Jews] {prophets} thought that the destruction of [Herod's] {Caiaphas’s} army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against [John] {Agrippa} that was called the [Baptist] {Great}. For [Herod] {Agrippa} [slew him, who] was a [good man] {prophet}, and commanded the [Jews] {prophets} to exercise [virtue] {purity}, both [as] to [righteousness towards] one another, and [piety] towards God [and so to come to baptism]; for that the [washing] {filling} with [water] {the Spirit} would be acceptable to him.

[, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away of some sins only, but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness].


[when many others came in crowds about him, for they were very greatly moved or pleased by hearing his words]

, [Herod] {Agrippa}, who feared lest

[the great influence John had over the people]

{Caiaphus} might put it into his power and inclination to raise a rebellion, for [they] {the priests} seemed ready to do anything he should advise, thought it best, by putting him to death, to prevent any mischief he might cause, and not bring himself into difficulties, by sparing a man who might make him repent of it when it would be too late. Accordingly he was sent a prisoner, [out of Herod's suspicious temper,] to Machaerus, [the castle I before mentioned], and was there put to death. Now the [Jews] [prophets} had an opinion that the destruction of this army was sent as a punishment upon [Herod] {Caiaphas}, and a mark of God's displeasure to him.

Thus we see that Caiaphas was first replaced by John the Baptist whose death was later developed into the more lurid details in the GospelsIn the Gospels, Jesus is executed after John.  We can now understand why in the writings attributed to Josephus, 'Jesus' was executed before 'John'.  Death was the last event described by the original writer in the life of Caiaphas.   

Caiaphas Ossuary 

The Wikipedia article on Caiaphas has: "In November 1990, an ornate limestone ossuary was found while paving a road in the Peace Forest south of the Abu Tor neighborhood ofJerusalem.[1][5] This ossuary appeared authentic and contained human remains. An Aramaic inscription on the side was thought to read "Joseph son of Caiaphas" and on the basis of this the bones of an elderly man were considered to belong to Caiaphas.[1][6] Since the original discovery this identification has been challenged by some scholars on various grounds, including the spelling of the inscription, the lack of any mention of Caiaphas's status as High Priest, the plainness of the tomb (although the ossuary itself is as ornate as might be expected from someone of his rank and family), and other reasons.[6][7]" 

If this is the ossuary of the real Caiaphus, then I would expect that there would be NO REFERENCE to Caiaphus being high priest, because no high priests were appointed after Herod, or even after Judas Maccabeus.  My conclusion is that the ossuary is that of Caiaphus, who was an important wealthy priest.       

So whose work do you think that the Wikipedia reference [7] might be to?   [7] refers to a book by Helen Bond, Caiaphus, Friend of Rome and Judge of Jesus.  Bond urges caution in identifying the ossuary as that of the Caiaphus referred to in the New Testament.  But Caiaphus was not what Bond has been led to believe from the New Testament, i.e. that Caiaphus was the main antagonist of Jesus.  But he was a leader of priests who rebelled against king Aristobulus and his son king Agrippa I, and the prophets.  In her book (page 7), Bond writes: "The absence of an elaborate inscription referring to his status as high priest, then, is not a bar to identifying the occupant of this tomb as Caiaphus."  She is absolutely right.   She admits that the tomb was grand enough for a high priest.  She says: "The Caiaphus ossuary is extravagantly ornate and clearly belonged to someone of great wealth."   And she asks the question: "why is there no reference to his high priestly status?"  The absence of an inscription referring to his status as high priest is virtually proof that this was the tomb of the Caiaphus, who had never been appointed, because the kings Aristobulus and Agrippa I were anti-priest and pro prophet. 

On page 8 of her book, Bond writes in connection with Caiaphus's possible belief in the afterlife: "How then do we account for the fact that one of his family, Miriam, was buried along with a coin, that in pagan mythology, was used to pay the ferryman who would take her to the underworld?  Does the very presence of this coin suggest that Miriam and her family believed in an afterlife?"  The coin was found by Joe Zias in her mouth.  The scrolls show that Sadducees, who were supposed not to believe in the afterlife, did not exist then. The priests believed that when they died their spirits went to Sheol or a waiting place to be judged.  The prophets believed that their spirits were already judged pure in the Spirit while they were still alive, and that on death, their spirit rose up immediately.  This was the original explanation of the difference between the priest's and the prophet's beliefs in the writings attributed to Josephus.  Both believed in an afterlife.    

Bond writes on page 13: "We can admire Pilate's world, sympathize with Judas's humanity, but Caiaphus's cultic world is outside our comprehension."  She was referring to the temple and its practices.  But since Herod, the temple had been controlled by the prophets, the priests had been kicked out (see 4QMMT), and no animals had been sacrificed.  Caiaphus's cultic world was that of the Scrolls.  Apart from one or two excursions by the likes of Antigonus, the prophets had always been in control of the temple from the the time of Judas Maccabeus.

Interestingly, whilst her book does contain a very large Index of Modern Authors, it does not have any reference to Nikos Kokkinos's book, The Herodian Dynasty.  This book has some important clues to the real history of the time.  She must have known about Kokkinos's book. Why does she ignore him?  

On page 19 of her book, Bond writes about Josephus: "We must, then, treat  everything Josephus says with a certain amount of healthy suspicion, but this must not detract from  the fact that the Jewish aristocrat will be a witness of paramount importance in our quest for the historical Caiaphus."  But Antiquities only mentions Caiaphus three times quite briefly.  And what does she mean by "healthy suspicion".  It couldn't be that she means that Josephus wasn't the original writer, or that the text attributed to him was full of lies and deceit, could she?  Or could she mean, along with most scholars, that the text only contains a few white lies and she (along with the rest) accepts most of what is written as true?  In other words they ignore their own warnings.  It couldn't possibly be that these writings are propaganda documents of the Roman empire and that they have been edited by ex priests, out of a job, working for their Flavian masters.  And that Antiquities was written first, by someone who was a prophet, before it was later edited.  And that War is largely fabricated with some borrowings from Antiquities. 

One final question!  Was there any evidence in the bones of Caiaphus (reinterred on the Mount of Olives according to page 8 of Bond's book) that he had been beheaded? This is a question to put to Joe Zias who excavated the tomb known as the tomb of Caiaphus and published a report around 1990.  The other anthropologist who excavated the tomb for her Ph.D was T. Greenhut.  Joe Zias says the bones were not buried on the Mount of Olives, but were placed in a mass grave somewhere to the West of Jerusalem.

Joe Zias also says: "As for ossuaries with the name high priest, I don't believe there ever was one found."  This was his answer to my question:  Do you know of any pre or post Herod I ossuaries that had an inscription 'high priest'?  His answer makes me think that high priests were NOT appointed before, during, and after the time of Herod.   Have the scholars merely assumed that Caiaphus was high priest, given his elaborate ossuary.  

What is the earliest archaeological evidence for high priests?  

What archaeological evidence is there for high priests being from the time of Judas Maccabeus?  

Did Flavian/Christian authors make out that high priests existed until a late period so that they could contrast them with Jesus as a superior high priest?  


Here the editor seems to be laying the ground for Agrippa's apparent trip to Rome. 

but Agrippa, the son of Aristobulus, went up to Rome, a year before the death of Tiberias, in order to treat of some affairs with the emperor, if he might be permitted so to do.  

The Descendants of Herod (Ant.18.5.4)

This section ends with the words below.  Clearly the editor has let slip that Agrippa took or inherited the kingdom, and then seems to have another person in mind who is not Agrippa.  That person, I suggest was his brother Aristobulus.

And as these descendants of Herod, whom we have enumerated, were in being at the same time that Agrippa the Great took the kingdom, and I have now given an account of them, it now remains that I relate the [several hard] fortunes which befell [Agrippa] {Aristobulus II}, [and how he got clear of them, and was advanced to the greatest height of dignity and power]. 


In an attempt to rubbish the long kingship of Agrippa, the Flavian/Christian editor saddled him with debts fictitiouslly accumulated by his brother Aristobulus.  Aristobulus was never in debt, because he was backed by the priests, one of whom, Ananias, was very wealthy.  And Flaccus was a pure invention.  It seems as though the work of the editors goes on and on - so much for our favourite Jewish historian.  Aristobulus II was  rejected by Agrippa for accepting money from Ananias and the priests, he was banished from Judea, and went to Rome and lived with Tiberias. 

To rub things in, the editor has Agrippa (supposedly) living in isolation in Judea were he would (supposedly) have committed suicide in poverty.  Agrippa's wife, Cypros, (supposedly) got wind of his intended suicide (as if she wouldn't have known), and (supposedly) wrote to Herodias his sister, wife of Herod the tetrarch for help.  The two words "so" are indicative of the Flavian editor's desire to exaggerate Agrippa's supposed poverty.  Herodias (supposedly) persuaded Herod against his better judgement, to give Agrippa a place in Tiberias, but relations are said to have deteriorated with Herod.  Agrippa (supposedly) appealed to Flaccus  who is supposed to have received him "kindly".  The extant text has:  "Hereupon Flaccus received him kindly".  The editor's game is given away in the next sentence: "Flaccus had also with him there Aristobulus" - very convenient for fictitious plot.  This is fabrication, as is every other example of Agrippa being in debt.  And Herod the Tetrarch had nothing to do with the story.    

Aristobulus II had gone to Rome where he was given a "kind reception by [Antonia] {Tiberias},"  (See the end of Ant. 18.6.4)   Agrippa had tipped him out of his kingdom because he had accepted money from the priests to use his influence on their behalf.  Aristobulus II was wealthy with the money he received from the priests.  That he was "received kindly" by Flaccus is fiction.  (See Ant.18.6.3 which is fabricated).  Aristobulus II was not in debt (as might be supposed), but was rich with the money he received from the priests.  He paid Caius a large sum of money to gain an audience with him.  (See Ant. 18.6.4).

1.A little before the death of [Herod] {Aristobulus I} the king, [Agrippa lived at Rome, and] {Aristobulus II} [was generally brought up and] conversed with [Drusus, the emperor Tiberius's son] {the priests}, and contracted a friendship with [Antonia, the wife of Drusus the Great] {Ananias}, who had [his mother Bernice] {the Law}  in great esteem, and was very desirous of advancing [her son] {his cause}.  Now as [Agrippa] {Aristobulus II} was by nature [magnanimous and generous] {extravagant} in the presents he made, while his [mother] {father} was alive, this inclination of his mind did not appear, that he might be able to avoid [her] {his} anger for such his extravagance; but when [Bernice] {his father} was dead, and he was left to his own conduct,  he spent a great deal extravagantly in his daily way of living, and a great deal in the immoderate presents he made, and those chiefly among [Caesar's freed-men] {the priests}, in order to gain their assistance.  Insomuch that he was, in a little time, reduced to [poverty] {being a slave of the priests}, and {Agrippa said he} could not live at [Rome] {Jerusalem} any longer. [Tiberius] {Agrippa} also forbade the [friends of his deceased son] {priests} to come into his sight, because on seeing them he should be put in mind of his [son] {brother}, and his [grief] {anger} would thereby be revived. 

2.For [these] {this} reason[s] [he] {Aristobulus II} went away from [Rome] {Judea}, and sailed to [Judea] {Rome}, but in evil circumstances, 

[being dejected with the loss of that money which he once had, and because he had not wherewithal to pay his creditors, who were many in number, and such as gave him no room for escaping them. Whereupon he knew not what to do; so, for shame of his present condition, he retired to a certain tower, at Malatha, in Idumea, and had thoughts of killing himself; but his wife Cypros  perceived his intentions, and tried all sorts of methods to divert him from his taking such a course; so she sent a letter to his sister Herodias, who was now the wife of Herod the tetrarch, and let her know Agrippa's present design, and what necessity it was which drove him thereto, and desired her, as a kinswoman of his, to give him her help, and to engage her husband to do the same, since she saw how she alleviated these her husband's troubles all she could, although she had not the like wealth to do it withal. So they sent for him, and allotted him Tiberias for his habitation, and appointed him some income of money for his maintenance, and made him a magistrate of that city, by way of honour to him.  Yet did not Herod long continue in that resolution of supporting him, though even that support was not sufficient for him; for as once they were at a feast at Tyre, and in their cups, and reproaches were cast upon one another, Agrippa thought that was not to be borne, while Herod hit him in the teeth with his poverty, and with his owing his necessary food to him.]

So  he went to [Flaccus] {Tiberias}, 

[one that had been consul, and had been a very great friend to him at Rome formerly, and
was now president of Syria.
3. Hereupon Flaccus received him kindly, and he lived with him. Flaccus had also with him there Aristobulus II, who was indeed Agrippa's brother, but was at variance with him; yet did not their enmity to one another hinder the friendship of [Flaccus] { to them both, but still they were honourably treated by him.  However, Aristobulus II  did not abate of his ill-will to Agrippa, till at length he brought him into ill terms with Flaccus; the occasion of bringing on which estrangement was this: The Damascens  were at difference with the Sidonians about their limits, and when Flaccus was about to hear the cause between them, they understood that Agrippa had a mighty influence upon him; so they desired that he would be of their side, and for that favour promised him a great deal of money; so he was zealous in assisting the Damascens as far as he was able. Now Aristobulus II had gotten intelligence of this promise of money to him, and accused him to Flaccus of the same; and when, upon a thorough examination of the matter, it appeared plainly so to be, he rejected Agrippa out of the number of his friends].

The following in square bracket is fabrication which exaggerates Agrippa's apparent indebtedness.

[So he was reduced to the utmost necessity, and came to Ptolemais; and because he knew not where else to get a livelihood, he thought to sail to Italy; but as he was restrained from so doing by want of money, he desired Marsyas, who was his freed-man, to find some method for procuring him so much as he wanted for that purpose, by borrowing such a sum of some person or other. So Marsyas desired of Peter, who was the freed-man of Bernice, Agrippa's mother, and by the right of her testament was bequeathed to Antonia, to lend so much upon Agrippa's own bond and security; but he accused Agrippa of having defrauded him of certain sums of money, and so obliged Marsyas, when he made the bond of twenty thousand Attic drachmae, to accept of twenty-five hundred drachma as less than what he desired, which the other allowed of, because he could not help it.  Upon the receipt of this money, Agrippa came to Anthedon, and [took shipping, and was going to] set sail {for Italy}; but Herennius Capito, who was the procurator of Jamnia, sent a band of soldiers to demand of him three hundred thousand drachmae of silver, which were by him owing to Caesar's treasury while he was at Rome, and so forced him to stay. He then pretended that he would do as he bid him; but when night came on, he cut his cables, and went off, and sailed to Alexandria, where he desired Alexander the alabarch to lend him two hundred thousand drachmae; but he said he would not lend it to him, but would not refuse it to Cypros, as greatly astonished at her affection to her husband, and at the other instances of her virtue; so she undertook to repay it. Accordingly, Alexander paid them five talents at Alexandria, and promised to pay them the rest of that sum at Dicearchia; and this he did out of the fear he was in that Agrippa would soon spend it. So this Cypros set her husband free, and dismissed him to go on with his navigation to Italy, while she and her children departed for Judea.] 
4. And now Agrippa was come to Puteoli, whence he wrote a letter to Tiberius Caesar, who then lived at Capreae, and told him that he was come so far in order to wait on him, and to pay him a visit; and desired that he would give him leave to come over to Capreae: so Tiberius made no difficulty, but wrote to him in an obliging way in other respects; and withal told him he was glad of his safe return, and desired him to come to Capreae; and when he was come, he did not fail to treat him as kindly as he had promised him in his letter to do. But the next day came a letter to Caesar from Herennius Capito, to inform him that Agrippa had borrowed three hundred thousand drachmae, and not paid it at the time appointed; but when it was demanded of him, he ran away like a fugitive, out of the places under his government, and put it out of his power to get the money of him. When Caesar had read this letter, he was much troubled at it, and gave order that Agrippa should be excluded from his presence until he had paid that debt: upon which he was no way daunted at Caesar's anger, but entreated Antonia, the mother of Germanicus, and of Claudius, who was afterward Caesar himself, to lend him those three hundred thousand drachmae, that he might not be deprived of Tiberius's friendship; so, out of regard to the memory of Bernice his mother, (for those two women were very familiar with one another,) and out of regard to his and Claudius's education together, she lent him the money; and, upon the payment of this debt, there was nothing to hinder Tiberius's friendship to him. After this, Tiberius Caesar recommended to him his grandson, and ordered that he should always accompany him when he went abroad.] 

But upon [Agrippa's] {Aristobulus II's} kind reception by [Antonia] {Tiberias}, he betook him to pay his respects to Caius, who was [her] {Antonia’s} grandson, and in very high reputation by reason of the good-will they bare his father. Now [there was one Thallus, a freed-man of Caesar, of whom he] {Aristobulus II} [borrowed] {who gave} a million of drachmae, [and thence repaid Antonia the debt he owed her; and by sending the overplus} in paying his court to Caius, became a person of great authority with him.

5. Now as the friendship which [Agrippa] {Aristobulus II} had for Caius was come to a great height, there happened some words to pass between them

[, as they once were in a chariot together,]

concerning Tiberius;

[Agrippa praying to God (for they two sat by themselves)]

that Tiberius might soon go off the stage, and leave the government to Caius, who was in every respect more worthy of it.

Now [Eutychus] {Tiberias}, [who was Agrippa's freed-man, and drove his chariot,] heard these words , and [at that time said nothing of them; but] when [Agrippa] {Tiberias} accused [him] {Aristobulus II} [of stealing some garments of his, which] {if this} was certainly true, he ran away from him; but when he was caught, and brought before Piso, who was governor of [the city] {Rome}, and [the man] {Aristobulus II} was asked why he ran away, be replied, that he had somewhat to say to Caesar, that tended to his security and preservation: so Piso bound him

[, and sent him to Capreae. But Tiberius, according to his usual custom, kept him still in bonds, being a delayer of affairs, if ever there was any other king or tyrant that was so; for he did not admit ambassadors quickly, and no successors were despatched away to governors or procurators of the provinces that had been formerly sent, unless they were dead; whence it was that he was so negligent in hearing the causes of prisoners; insomuch that when he was asked by his friends what was the reason of his delay in such cases, he said that he delayed to hear ambassadors, lest, upon their quick dismission, other ambassadors should be appointed, and return upon him; and so he should bring trouble upon himself in their public reception and dismission: that he permitted those governors who had been sent once to their government to stay there a long while, out of regard to the subjects that were under them; for that all governors are naturally disposed to get as much as they can; and that those who are not to fix there, but to stay a short time, and that at an uncertainty when they shall be turned out, do the more severely hurry themselves on to fleece the people; but that if their government be long continued to them; they are at last satiated with the spoils, as having gotten a vast deal, and so become at length less sharp in their pillaging; but that if successors are sent quickly, the poor subjects, who are exposed to them as a prey, will not be able to bear the new ones, while they shall not have the same time allowed them wherein their predecessors had filled themselves, and so grew more unconcerned about getting more; and this because they are removed before they have had time for their oppressions. He gave them an example to show his meaning: A great number of flies came about the sore places of a man that had been wounded; upon which one of the standers-by pitied the man's misfortune, and thinking he was not able to drive those flies away himself, was going to drive them away for him; but he prayed him to let them alone: the other, by way of reply, asked him the reason of such a preposterous proceeding, in preventing relief from his present misery; to which he answered, "If thou drivest these flies away, thou wilt hurt me worse; for as these are already full of my blood, they do not crowd about me, nor pain me so much as before, but are somewhat more remiss, while the fresh ones that come almost famished, and find me quite tired down already, will be my destruction. For this cause, therefore, it is that I am myself careful not to send such new governors perpetually to those my subjects, who are already sufficiently harassed by many oppressions, as may, like these flies, further distress them; and so, besides their natural desire of gain, may have this additional incitement to it, that they expect to be suddenly deprived of that pleasure which they take in it." And, as a further attestation to what I say of the dilatory nature of Tiberius, I appeal to this his practice itself; for although he was emperor twenty-two years, he sent in all but two procurators to govern the nation of the Jews, Gratus, and his successor in the government, Pilate. Nor was he in one way of acting with respect to the Jews, and in another with respect to the rest of his subjects. He further informed them, that even in the hearing of the causes of prisoners, he made such delays, because immediate death to those that must be condemned to die would be an alleviation of their present miseries, while those wicked wretches have not deserved any such favor; "but I do it, that, by being harassed with the present calamity, they may undergo greater misery."] 

What Agrippa wrote to Caius about Ananias and Aristobulus II being friends and against his government (Ant.18.7) - Supposed to be a story about how Herod the Tetrarch was banished (The editors were enjoying themselves)  

The story about Herodias and Herod the Tetrarch was an example of a typical editor’s device to obfuscate the flow of the real events.  This was nothing to do with Herod the Tetrarch ( I am laughing at the scholars again.)   Herodias and Herod the Tetrarch are to be ignored.  The real story begins at 18.7.2.  Agrippa didn't go to Rome, but sent Fortunatus with letters to explain to Caius what Aristobulus II (not Herod) was doing - working with Ananias against his government.   O course, Agrippa had no need for Herodias to persuade him to try to become a king, because he already was king.  Caius making himself out to be a god was a fiction. 

1.[BUT Herodias, Agrippa's sister, who now lived as, wife to that Herod who was tetrarch of Galilee and Peres, took this authority of her brother in an envious manner, particularly when she saw that he had a greater dignity bestowed on him than her husband Antipas had; since, when he ran away, it was because he was not able to pay his debts; and now he was come back, he was in a way of dignity, and of great good fortune. She was therefore grieved and much displeased at so great a mutation of his affairs; and chiefly when she saw him marching among the multitude with the usual ensigns of royal authority, she was not able to conceal how miserable she was, by reason of the envy she had towards him; but she excited her husband, and desired him that he would sail to Rome, to court honours equal to his; for she said that she could not bear to live any longer, while Agrippa, the son of that Aristobulus who was condemned to die by his father, one that came to her husband in such extreme poverty, that the necessaries of life were forced to be entirely supplied him day by day; and when he fled away from his creditors by sea, he now returned a king; while he was himself the son of a king, and while the near relation he bare to royal authority called upon him to gain the like dignity, he sat still, and was contented with a privater life. "But then, Herod, although thou wast formerly not concerned to be in a lower condition than thy father from whom thou wast derived had been, yet do thou now seek after the dignity which thy kinsman hath attained to; and do not thou bear this contempt, that a man who admired thy riches should he in greater honour than thyself, nor suffer his poverty to show itself able to purchase greater things than our abundance; nor do thou esteem it other than a shameful thing to be inferior to one who, the other day, lived upon thy charity. But let us go to Rome, and let us spare no pains nor expenses, either of silver or gold, since they cannot be kept for any better use than for the obtaining of a kingdom."]

2. But for [Herod] {Agrippa}

[, he opposed her request at this time, out of the love of ease, and having a suspicion of the trouble he should have at Rome; so he tried to instruct her better. But the more she saw him draw back, the more she pressed him to it, and desired him to leave no stone unturned in order to be king; and at last she left not off till she engaged him, whether he would or not, to be of her sentiments, because he could no otherwise avoid her importunity. So he got all things ready, after as sumptuous a manner as he was able, and spared for nothing, and went up to Rome, and took Herodias along with him. But Agrippa, when he was made sensible of their intentions and preparations, he also prepared to go thither; and as soon as he heard they set sail]

,he sent Fortunatus, one of his freed-men, to Rome, to carry presents to the emperor, and letters against [Herod] {Aristobulus}, and to give Caius a particular account of those matters, if he should have any opportunity.  

[This man followed Herod so quick, and had so prosperous a voyage, and came so little after Herod, that while Herod was with Caius, he came himself, and delivered his letters; for they both sailed to Dicearchia, and found Caius at Bairn, which is itself a little city of Campania, at the distance of about five furlongs from Dicearchia. There are in that place royal palaces, with sumptuous apartments, every emperor still endeavoring to outdo his predecessor's magnificence; the place, also affords warm baths, that spring out of the ground of their own accord, which are of advantage for the recovery of the health of those that make use of them; and, besides, they minister to men's luxury also.]

Now Caius saluted [Herod] {Fortunatus}, for he first met with him, and then looked upon the letters which Agrippa had sent him[, and which were written in order to accuse Herod]; wherein he accused [him] {Aristobulus II}, that he had been in confederacy with [Sejanus] {Ananias} against [Tiberius's] {Agrippa’s} government

[,and that he was now confederate with Artabanus, the king of Parthia, in opposition to the government of Caius; as a demonstration of which he alleged, that he had armour sufficient for seventy thousand men ready in his armoury].

Caius was moved at this information, and asked [Herod] {Aristobulus II} whether what was said about the [armour] {confederacy} was true; and when he confessed there was such [armour there] {a confederacy}, for he could not deny the same, the truth of it being too [notorious] {obvious} 

[, Caius took that to be a sufficient proof of the accusation,that he intended to revolt. So he took away from him his tetrarchy, and gave it by way of addition to Agrippa's kingdom; he also gave Herod's money to Agrippa, and, by way of punishment, awarded him a perpetual banishment, and appointed Lyons, a city of Gaul, to be his place of habitation. But when he was informed that Herodias was Agrippa's sister, he made her a present of what money was her own, and told her that it was her brother who prevented her being put under the same calamity with her husband. But she made this reply: "Thou, indeed, O emperor! actest after a magnificent manner, and as becomes thyself in what thou offerest me; but the kindness which I have for my husband hinders me from partaking of the favour of thy gift; for it is not just that I, who have been made a partner in his prosperity, should forsake him in his misfortunes." Hereupon Caius was angry at her, and sent her with Herod into banishment, and gave her estate to Agrippa. And thus did God punish Herodias for her envy at her brother, and Herod also for giving ear to the vain discourses of a woman.]

[Now Caius managed public affairs with great magnanimity during the first and second year of his reign, and behaved himself with such moderation, that he gained the good-will of the Romans themselves, and of his other subjects. But, in process of time, he went beyond the bounds of human nature in his conceit of himself, and by reason of the vastness of his dominions. He made himself a god, and took upon himself to act in all things to the reproach of the Deity itself.]

The Priests Wanted to Erect an Altar for Burnt Offerings - Caius Was Not Involved (Ant.18.8)

The story about the emperor Caius wanting to erect a statue of himself in the temple so that he could be worshipped was a complete myth.  The Roman Petronias, governor of Syria, was apparently ordered to mount an invasion if the Jews didn't comply.  This was Vespasian's propaganda that saw previous emperors as buffoons.  Philo and Apion were were substitutes for Ananias the chief priest (who was never appointed high priest). 

How many scholars believe this story about Caius?  In her book on Caiaphus, Helen Bond certainly does.  Presumably she also believes that God showed his presence to Petronius (see Ant.18.8.6).  Caius did have an involvement, but certainly not wanting the erection of his statue in the temple for the Jews to worship.  The priests had been thrown out of the temple since the time of Herod.  They angered Agrippa by wanting to build an altar to resume sacrifices.  Caius's view was that Agrippa was to be trusted in whatever he decided. 

Following the execution of Caiaphus, Ananias had come to the fore.  He was told by Agrippa to get on his bike. 

1.THERE was now a tumult arisen at [Alexandria] {Jerusalem}, between the [Jewish inhabitants] {priests} and the [Greeks] {prophets}; and three [ambassadors] {representatives} were chosen out of each party that were at variance, who came to [Caius] {Agrippa}. Now one of these [ambassadors] {representatives} from the [people of Alexandria] {the priests} was [Apion] {Ananias}, who uttered many blasphemies against the [Jews] {prophets}; and, among other things that he said, he charged them with neglecting the honours that belonged to [Caesar] {God}; for that while all who were subject to the Roman empire built  altars and temples to

[Caius, and in other regards universally received him as they received]

the gods, these [Jews] {prophets} alone thought it a dishonourable thing for [them] {the priests} to erect [statues] {an altar} in honour of him, as well as to swear by his name. Many [of these] severe things were said by [Apion] {Ananias}, by which he hoped to provoke [Caius] {Agrippa} to anger at the [Jews] {priests}, as he was likely to be. But [Philo] {Ananias}, the principal of the [Jewish embassage] {priests}, a man eminent on all accounts, [brother to Alexander the alabarch, and] one not unskillful in [philosophy] {the Law}, was ready to betake himself to make his defense against those accusations; but [Caius] {Agrippa} prohibited him, and bid him begone; he was also in such a rage, that it openly appeared he was about to do them some very great mischief.  So [Philo] {Ananias} being thus affronted, went out, and said to those [Jews] {priests} who were about him, that they should be of good courage, since [Caius's] {Agrippa’s} words indeed showed anger at them, but in reality had already set God against himself.

Ant.18.8.2 thru 6 is fiction. Petronius threatening to invade Judea is a fabrication. 
Aristobulus II Tries to Con Caius into Allowing the Priests to Build an Altar for Burnt Offerings (Ant.18.8.7)

Aristobulus II tried to con Caius into letting the priests build an altar of burnt offerings and thus to start sacrificing animals.  But Caius refused his request, knowing it would displease Agrippa.  

7. But [king Agrippa] {Aristobulus II}, who now lived at Rome, was more and more in the favour of Caius; and when he had once made him a supper, and was careful to exceed all others, both in expenses and in such preparations as might contribute most to his pleasure; nay, it was so far from the ability of others, that Caius himself could never equal, much less exceed it (such care had he taken beforehand to exceed all men, and particularly to make all agreeable to Caesar); hereupon Caius admired his understanding and magnificence, that he should force himself to do all to please him, even beyond such expenses as he could bear, and was desirous not to be behind [Agrippa] {Aristobulus II} in that generosity which he exerted in order to please him. So Caius, when he had drank wine plentifully, and was merrier than ordinary, said thus during the feast, when [Agrippa] {Aristobulus II} had drunk to him:

"I knew before now how great a respect thou hast had for me, and how great kindness thou hast shown me, though with those hazards to thyself, which thou underwentest under Tiberius on that account; nor hast thou omitted any thing to show thy good-will towards us, even beyond thy ability; whence it would be a base thing for me to be conquered by thy affection. I am therefore desirous to make thee amends for every thing in which I have been formerly deficient; for all that I have bestowed on thee, that may be called my gifts, is but little. Everything that may contribute to thy happiness shall be at thy service, and that cheerfully, and so far as my ability will reach."  

And this was what Caius said to [Agrippa] {Aristobulus II}, thinking be would ask for some large country, or the revenues of certain cities. But although he had prepared beforehand what he would ask, yet had he not discovered his intentions, but made this answer to Caius immediately:

[That it was not out of any expectation of gain that he formerly paid his respects to him, contrary to the commands of Tiberius, nor did he now do any thing relating to him out of regard to his own advantage, and in order to receive any thing from him; that the gifts he had already bestowed upon him were great, and beyond the hopes of even a craving man; for although they may be beneath thy power, who art the donor, yet are they greater than my inclination and dignity, who am the receiver. And as Caius was astonished at Agrippa's inclinations, and still the more pressed him to make his request for somewhat which he might gratify him with, Agrippa replied,]

"Since thou, O my lord! declarest such is thy readiness to grant, that I am worthy of thy gifts, I will ask nothing relating to my own felicity; for what thou hast already bestowed on me has made me excel therein; but I desire somewhat which may make thee glorious for piety, and render the Divinity assistant to thy designs, and may be for an honour to me among those that inquire about it, as showing that I never once fail of obtaining what I desire of thee; for my petition is this, that thou wilt [no longer] think of the [dedication] {rebuilding} of that [statue] {altar} [which thou hast ordered to be set up] in the Jewish temple [by Petronius]."

The Execution of Aristobulus II, King Agrippa's Brother, In Rome (Ant.18.8.8,9)

Here the character of Caius is revealed as different from that traditionally written about by classical historians.  Caius "had regard to what was virtuous and honourable."  The writer was referring to Caius's opinion of Agrippa. 

8. And thus did [Agrippa] {Aristobulus II} venture to cast the die upon this occasion, so great was the affair in his opinion, and in reality, though he knew how dangerous a thing it was so to speak; for [had not] Caius {did not} approve[d] of it, {and} it [had] tended to no less than the loss of his life. So Caius, who was mightily taken (conned) with [Agrippa's] {Aristobulus II's} obliging behaviour, and on other accounts thinking it a dishonourable thing to be guilty of falsehood before so many witnesses,

[in points wherein he had with such alacrity forced Agrippa to become a petitioner,
and that it would look as if he had already repented of what he had said, and]

because he greatly admired Agrippa's virtue, in not desiring [him] at all to augment his own dominions, either with larger revenues, or other authority, but took care of the public tranquillity, of the laws, and of the Divinity itself, he granted him what he had requested. 

[He also wrote thus to Petronius, commending him for his assembling his army, and then consulting him about these affairs. "If therefore," said' he," thou hast already erected my statue, let it stand; but if thou hast not yet dedicated it, do not trouble thyself further about it, but dismiss thy army, go back, and take care of those affairs which I sent thee about at first, for I have now no occasion for the erection of that statue.  This I have granted as a favour to Agrippa, a man whom I honour so very greatly, that I am not able to contradict what he would have, or what he desired me to do for him." And this was what Caius wrote to Petronius, which was before he received his letter, informing him that the Jews were very ready to revolt about the statue, and that they seemed resolved to threaten war against the Romans, and nothing else.] 

When therefore Caius was much displeased that any attempt should be made against his government as he 

[was a slave to base and vicious actions on all occasions, and] 

had [no] regard to what was virtuous and honourable, 

[and against whomsoever he resolved to show his anger, and that for any cause whatsoever, he suffered not himself to be restrained by any admonition, but thought the indulging his anger to be a real pleasure,] 

he wrote thus to [Petronius] {Agrippa}: "Seeing [thou] {Aristobulus II} [esteemest] {esteemed} the presents made [thee] {him} by the [Jews] {priests} to be of greater value than my commands, [and art grown] {so that he grew} insolent enough to be subservient to their pleasure, I charge{d} [thee] {him} to become [thy] {his} own judge, and to consider what [thou art] {he ought} to do, now [thou art] {he was} under my displeasure; for I [will make thee] {made him} an example to the present and to all future ages, that they may not dare to contradict the commands of their emperor." 

9. This was the epistle which Caius wrote to [Petronius] {Agrippa}; 

[but Petronius did not receive it while Caius was alive, that ship which carried it sailing so slow, that other letters came to Petronius before this,] (of course he didn't receive the letter)

by which he understood that [Caius] {Aristobulus II} was dead; for God would not forget the dangers [Petronius] {Agrippa} had undertaken on account of the [Jews] {prophets}, and of his own honour.  But when [he] {God} had taken [Caius] {Aristobulus II} away, out of his indignation of what he had so insolently attempted [in assuming to himself divine worship], both Rome and all that dominion conspired with [Petronius] {Agrippa}, especially those that were of the senatorian order, to give [Caius] {Aristobulus II} his due reward, because he had been unmercifully severe to the {king};