Don't mention the war!
As Jews we have to mention the war. In this episode we take a look at the reasons for, and the inevitability of the First Jewish Revolt, given the inadequacies of Roman governance both in Judea and in Rome itself. We also explore the various types of responses to the revolt and how the nascent Messianic Jewish movement fit into the series of events. It truly was a tragic time, and we have to cover the tragic response of the greater non-Jewish church that made the tragedy the cause célèbre for its wholesale pivot to replacement theology, the fruits of which continue to be born even today.
Welcome to the On Messianic Judaism Podcast. This is episode 12 in our series, called Messianic Judaism and the First Jewish Revolt.
Before we get going though, I want to tell you that my latest book has just been published by Wipf and Stock’s academic imprint, Pickwick Press. I’m really excited about this, and it touches on a lot of the things we are talking about in this podcast. I have to warn you – it is a version of my doctoral thesis, so it might be heavy lifting, but if you’re game for it, you can find it at wipfandstock.com or just search by my name on Amazon, or as it propagates through the web on your favorite bookstore. The book is called Torah for Gentiles? What the Jewish Authors of the Didache Had to Say. OK!
Hi, this is Daniel Nessim and today we’ll continue our series on the History of the Messianic Jewish movement by taking a new look at Messianic Jews and the First Jewish Revolt. This is the first Jewish Revolt which brought the war that resulted in the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.
· What on earth propelled Jews to revolt against Rome? What were the factors.
· How were Messianic Jews affected by these factors?
· What was the stance of the Messianic Jewish community towards this revolt?
· How did Messianic Jews weather the storm – both in Jerusalem, the Land, and in the diaspora?
· Do we see this war and the destruction of the Temple in the New Testament? In the other writings of Messianic Jews at this time?
· What was the impact of this war in the long run? That’s one that we may have to get to in future episodes.
Wow. These are massive questions about an event that receives far too little attention. No one wants to talk about it, it seems! It is almost as if it was written for that British sitcom Fawlty Towers, where Basil, instructed not to mention the Second World War in front of his German guests can’t help himself but keep blurting out about it. But for Jews, and therefore for Messianic Jews who believe that our Messiah has come, and his name is Yeshua, this is a really big deal. To this day we Jews pray for the restoration of Jerusalem and its sacrifices, so the loss of the Temple must have profoundly affected the earliest Messianic Jews, to whom we have a special feeling and affinity.
It doesn’t have to be ignored however. After all, the Jewish historian Joseph ben Mattityahu, more popularly known by his Greek name “Josephus” wrote a massive account about everything that happened. It was a big deal to him, and no doubt to all Jews at the time. However, just like all of us, they just had to accept it, awful as it was, and keep going forward. Forgetting, though, that is another matter. We can’t forget, because this was such a critical time for world Jewry and for Messianic Jews in the midst. Every single day, we mourn the destruction of the Temple, the ending of worship there, and pray for the restoration of the House of Jesse. So really, let’s tell this story!
The Romans Made Me Do It
Why the war? That’s the big million dollar, or maybe I should say million denarii question. Steve Mason points to the many issues, not the least of which is trying to figure out where Joseph ben Mattityahu, the main source for our knowledge regarding the war and everything leading up to it, was coming from. Even Joseph’s statement of his thesis, as to why he was writing, in the massive work doesn’t match up with its contents. Then there is the attitude of modern historians, who inadvertently or not read the causes of the war through modern eyes.
Nowadays, we have the information age upon us. We have the world, and a world of knowledge at our fingertips at a moment’s notice. One would think that with access to all this knowledge, it would be easy for us to sort matters out and see the truth on almost any matter. On the contrary, it seems that we are struggling more than ever to figure out what is really going on in our world. So in his day, with all the information available to him, Josephus has left us an account colored by his own personality, his own history as a Jewish general in the rebellion itself, and his social position, for now as he wrote he was indebted to his Roman benefactors. What were the actual facts? We know many facts, but we also have many questions.
Back then, there was the antagonism between the Judeans and the Romans, but some would say even more so with the Samaritans. So, regarding this revolt of the Jews against Rome, “Could that conflict, so tragic in its results, have been avoided? Possibly; but it would have required more honesty than many Roman officials were capable of, more intelligence than most Jewish aristocrats possessed, and more patience and submissiveness than the Jewish masses were able to practice. Under the circumstances, misunderstandings and conflicts continued, so that with each succeeding year the Jewish people drifted nearer to rebellion against Rome.”
During these years the Jewish people were repeatedly provoked by the Romans. “The most outrageous action of all was that of the half-crazy Emperor Gaius Caligula. Persuaded that he was a god, Caligula resented the refusal of the Jews to pay him divine honors. He ordered Petronius, his governor of Syria, an intelligent man, to compel the Jews to place a statue of the emperor inside the Temple.” When he was finally assassinated by his own Praetorian guard, he “learned by actual experience that he was not a god.”
Then there was mismanagement by the Romans as well. “Florus, the last procurator . . . stopped at no villainy. He deliberately provoked the Jews to rebellion in order to cover up his criminal record in personal and official conduct.” As the situation got more and more heated, it got more and more out of hand.
It is in this context that at some point between the years of 62–66 CE Jacob, who is called James in English and was Yeshua’s brother, was murdered in Jerusalem.
Hugh Schonfield rightly suggests that this
. . . last act of treachery on the part of [the priest] Ananias and his partisans, however, alienated the sympathies of those who still venerated the chief priests on account of their sacred office. The murdered saint was speedily avenged; for in the early days of the war with Rome Ananias and most of the other chief priests were slain by the Idumeans whom the Zealots had brought into Jerusalem, and their bodies were cast out without burial.
The messianic community in Jerusalem persevered however. After the death of Jacob, Yeshua’s brother, he was succeeded by Simeon, a relative of Yeshua and Jacob’s, and then by eleven more bishops for a total of thirteen who came in rapid succession until the final destruction of Jerusalem in 135 CE, according to Eusebius. We’ll be able to talk more about them in a future episode, but it is interesting that apparently after Jacob’s murder, all the apostles convened in Jerusalem from wherever they had been in order to appoint his successor. This was one Symeon, who was actually a cousin of Yeshua.
To make things worse, Rome itself was in disarray, which had an inevitable consequences on its governance of its provinces. So it is that this period of trouble was also marked by the beginnings of the Neronian persecution following the great fire of Rome in the summer (July) of 64 CE.
A couple years later, in May of 66 CE, open rebellion finally broke out in the Holy Land. The Jewish war in the Land thus began in earnest when Masada was captured by the rebels, and the Roman soldiers who were there were executed, in the winter of 66 CE. Nero sent Vespasian, his senior and trusted general, to sort it out, with legions of soldiers. The destruction of Jerusalem became yet more unavoidable in 68 CE when the Idumeans and the zealots, who had come to Jerusalem with the crowds of refugees from the conflicts with the Romans elsewhere, conducted a purge. The Idumeans were literally “Edom-means” as in descendants of Edom, or Esau who had been converted to Judaism by the descendant of the Maccabees, Hyrcanus. The purge was of anyone who held a moderate position or had moderating influence. Thus the members of the population in general, the royal family, priesthood, and seventy men of the nobility were murdered. Finally Hanan ben Hanan, or Ananus the younger, was murdered. Hanan ben Hanan was the Ananias who had been officiating as High Priest and was himself responsible for the murder of Jacob the Just, or James the Just, Yeshua’s brother during his time in office. With the moderate voices silenced, a climax to the war became inevitable.
When he arrived with his troops, Vespasian began his campaign on the coast, in Acco (which is north of today’s Haifa) with 60,000 men and began to move inland, quelling the rebellion in Galilee first. This had the effect of sending even an even greater flood of refugee rebels who still had a mind to fight to Jerusalem, which now became a hotbed of radical revolutionaries.
Meanwhile in Rome, things were going from bad to worse. In March of 68 CE, Servius Sulpicius Galba declared himself emperor in the face of Nero, and on June 9, facing a condemnation to death by the Senate, Nero killed himself with his secretary Epaphroditos’ assistance. So ended the life of a man who murdered his own mother and careened about in a chariot in a stadium lit by torches made from Christians who had been slathered in tar and set alight on poles to be burned alive. This then becomes the year of Four Emperors, the first three of whom were Galba, Otho, and Vitellius. It was in this year that Jerusalem was surrounded.
So what caused the revolt? Lee Levine, a specialist on ancient Jerusalem, says that “The many theories regarding the causes of the revolt clearly indicate the well-nigh impossible task of finding any one, clear-cut, factor.” But since history is never as simple as it seems, he also reminds us that in “66, however, the Jews were sorely divided. In the first place, there were many who opposed the rebellion while others were quite ambivalent in their support.”
Some of those who were not minded to rebel were the Jewish disciples of Yeshua. The early Messianic position was against rebellion, as Yeshua said: “Give . . . to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Jacob Jocz rightly surmised that their exodus from Jerusalem to Pella occurred sometime between the year 62 CE, the earliest time that the assassination of Yeshua’s brother Jacob could have taken place, and 66 CE when the war against Rome broke out. Eusebius states that “Furthermore, the members of the Jerusalem church, by means of an oracle given by revelation to acceptable persons there, were ordered to leave the City before the war began and settle in a town in Peraea called Pella. To Pella those who believed in Christ migrated from Jerusalem . . .” he said. Sometime then, before or while Jerusalem was surrounded, the vast majority of Messianic Jews fled to Pella, just east of the Jordan river and out of the zone of conflict. While some say that flight from Jerusalem was impossible during this time, there is a strong argument that says that “escape was possible at certain times for reasonably large numbers right up until the end of the siege.
The surrounding of Jerusalem by the Roman legions was mentioned by Eusebius, who opines that:
It was indeed proper that in the very week in which they had brought the Saviour and Benefactor of mankind, God’s Christ, to His Passion, they should be shut up as if in a prison and suffer the destruction that came upon them by the judgement of God.
Persevering in that horrific vein he later wrote that “such was the reward of the Jews’ iniquitous and wicked treatment of God’s Christ.” Sadly, his opinion was in no way atypical for gentile Christians of the day. Fortunately, most Christians today recoil from such a conclusion, and such language, that has brought such horrors upon the Jewish people over two millennia.
Early Christian authors other than historians don’t speak much of the war and destruction, and even less with compassionate reflection on its effect on those of their brethren whose lives were upended because of it, preferring rather to use it as a triumphant argument for God’s supposed rejection of the Jewish people, and judgement upon them. They, the gentiles, were now the heirs of Israel’s history and legacy in their minds. This, of course, became the basis for what we now call supersessionism, or replacement theology, which was anticipated and spoken against by the Apostle Paul himself in Romans 11. In real life, for the followers of The Way, the Jewish revolt against the Romans meant a complete relocation, disruption of life, community, and leadership, and called for a reaffirmation of faith in Yeshua as seen in the book of Hebrews.
While the Messianic community regathered in Pella, which we’ll get back to in a moment, Vespasian had encamped his armies around Jerusalem. It was during this time that the fourth emperor of the Year of the Four Emperors was appointed, and it was none other than Vespasian himself. The general Vespasian got the news while conducting the siege of Jerusalem with his armies.
The story of how he got the news is legendary. It revolves around Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai, who, as did Yeshua’s disciples, foresaw that the city of Jerusalem was doomed to be sacked. He made a plan to be smuggled out of Jerusalem in a coffin, to escape the blockade that the Zealots in the city were imposing to force everyone in the city to fight. His disciples succeeded in smuggling him out, supposedly for burial. When he was taken to see Vespasian and greeted him as “Caesar.” The general replied “you are deserving of death on two counts. First of all, I am not the emperor, only his general. Secondly, if I am indeed the emperor, why did you wait until now to come to me?” Rabbi Yochanan answered: "You are an emperor, because otherwise the Holy Temple would not be delivered in your hands . . . And as for your second question, the Zealots would not allow me to leave the city."
While they were speaking, a messenger came and told Vespasian that Nero was dead and that he had been appointed the new Roman emperor. Figuring that Rav Yochanan was a prophet, Vespasian offered him anything he wanted as a reward. Yochanan asked that Vespasian should give him Yavne. As a result, Yavne, which is about 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of where Tel Aviv is today, became the new home of Torah scholarship and the Sanhedrin, a key to making Jewish survival possible.
So the year was now 69, and having heard that he had been made the Emperor, Vespasian returned to Rome leaving his son Titus in charge. It wasn’t too much longer before the siege came to an end.
Before the destruction of the city and the Temple, Josephus recorded that “one Jesus, the son of Ananus . . . . began on a sudden to cry aloud “A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against this whole people!” Although he was flogged to the bone, he did nothing but repeat this dirge for over seven years, being let free as a madman. Finally, even during the siege of Jerusalem, as he continued to cry out, a stone from one of the Roman siege engines flew through the air finally striking him, instantly killing him, and putting an end to his cries.
Now we must talk about the resettlement of the early Messianic believers from Jerusalem to Pella, east of the Jordan river, near the region of Galilee. Pella was in an area which some scholars think the early Messianic community may have already evangelized, meaning that they were known and viewed positively there. It was basically a Greek city, and since Alexander the Great had been born in Pella, Greece, it may well have been named after his birthplace.
Pella had a history – Alexander Yannai a great grandson of Mattathias who started the rebellion against Antiochus Epiphanes in the days of the Maccabees, had had possession of Pella, which he “. . . utterly destroyed, because its inhabitants would not bear to change their religious rites for those peculiar to the Jews.”
By the time the Messianic community fled to it, Pella had a more recent history. It had been attacked by the Jewish rebels earlier on, so was clearly a city that was not part of the revolt. If there were Christians in the city, as seems likely, it makes sense that those from Jerusalem who also had no interest in the revolt should be welcomed by them there. Pella was about 20 miles (30 kilometers) south of the Kinneret, and about 60 miles (95 km) north of Jerusalem, on the eastern bank of the Jordan. It was part of the Decapolis, a region with ten towns that Yeshua himself had visited.
Messianic Jews were far from the only ones who fled Jerusalem at this time, as no doubt the influx of rebels scared many of the local inhabitants of the city, and many were not minded themselves to rebel. During this time various parties were struggling for control: Sadducees, Pharisees, and Zealots at the beginning of the war. Messianic Jews, however, had the memory of one of Yeshua’s sayings, in which he warned “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those inside the city must get out, and those in the countryside must not enter her.”
A distinct group in Jerusalem, those whom we would today call the Messianic Jews had been known as the Way, and later as the Nazarenes. We see this in Acts 24:5 in the context of accusations being made against Paul which say: “we have found this man to be a pest, stirring up riots among all the Jewish people throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Natzratim.” In fact, Epiphanius states that “all Christians were called Nazarenes once.” Interestingly, he also relates that they were called Jessaeans for a time, possibly after Jesse, the ancestor of Yeshua and father of King David, or possibly, “Jessaean” is simply as a derivative from Yeshua’s name. It seems that the term “Christian” which arose in Antioch, was not applied to the Messianic Jewish believers during this time, however, seemingly being more appropriate to the Christianity in the north. From this point on, the term Nazarenes is the best term for these early Messianic Jews. The ancient author Epiphanius wrote that
This sect of Nazoraeans is to be found in Beroea near Coelesyria, in the Decapolis near Pella, and in Bashanitis at the place called Cocabe—Khokhabe in Hebrew. For that was its place of origin, since all the disciples had settled in Pella after their remove from Jerusalem—Christ having told them to abandon Jerusalem and withdraw from it because of the siege it was about to undergo. And they settled in Peraea for this reason and, as I said, lived their lives there. It was from this that the Nazoraean sect had its origin.
The books of Luke and Acts together make a case for the centrality of the Temple in the life of the Nazarenes before its destruction. Levine cites Tacitus’ Chronica (of which only fragments survive) which says: “. . . others, and Titus himself, expressed their opinion that the Temple should be destroyed without delay, in order that the religion of the Jews and Christians would be more completely exterminated.” There’s an argument to be made that the entire book of Hebrews is a Nazarene response to the impending destruction of this Temple, the center of Jewish worship of the One true God of Israel and all the earth.
The catastrophe of the war was in some ways absolute. Eusebius recounts the devastation saying that:
In the course of his very long account of the catastrophe that overwhelmed the entire Jewish nation Josephus expressly states that, in addition to very many others, innumerable Jews in high positions were flogged with scourges and crucified in Jerusalem itself by Florus [64-66 CE], and that he was procurator of Judaea at the time when the beginning of the war blazed up in the twelfth year of Nero’s reign. Then he says that throughout Palestine the revolt of the Jews was followed by hopeless confusion, and that on every side the members of the nation were mercilessly destroyed, as if they were enemies, by the inhabitants of the various cities:
The cities could be seen full of unburied corpses, the dead bodies of the aged flung down alongside those of infants, women without a rag to conceal their nakedness, and the whole province full of indescribable horrors. Even worse than the atrocities continually committed were the threats of terrors to come.
Such is the account of Josephus, and such was the plight of the Jews.
Finally, the Temple was destroyed. On Tisha B’Av, the 9th of Av in the year 70 CE, Titus and his forces burned the Temple, subsequently tearing the structure apart stone by stone to recover the gold that had melted between the rocks, fulfilling Yeshua’s prophecy that not one stone would remain upon another on that day. There are various accounts excusing Titus from this abominable deed, blaming instead his soldiers who got carried away, but personally I have difficulty accepting the explanations. Roman generals were absolutely in charge of their forces.
The world looked on. In Rome there was subsequently a parade of the treasures and slaves that had been captured, and after Vespasian had died, about ten years later in 81 CE, an arch was erected depicting the event. Called the Arch of Titus after Titus who conquered the city it was erected by the general’s brother, who was now the Emperor Domitian. Titus and Domitian were sons of the emperor Vespasian, who had begun the war against the rebels years before at Nero’s command.
It was not only gentile Christians but the pagan world that looked upon the fall of Jerusalem as divine judgement upon the Jews. It was written that “After Titus had taken Jerusalem, and when the country all round was filled with corpses, the neighboring races offered him a crown; but he disclaimed any such honor to himself saying that it was not himself that had accomplished this exploit, but that he had merely lent his arms to God, who had so manifested his wrath.” This take on the events would only serve to confirm the church in its supersessionist theology, and lay the foundation for two millennia of theological antisemitism that would only be finally revoked, at least in theory, after the Shoah.
Meanwhile, the war continued until the last holdouts, a band of zealots in Masada, the towering fortress on the west side of the Dead Sea, were finally conquered by the Romans in 73 CE. According to Josephus, rather than be captured by the Romans they committed mass suicide, although recently this account has been called into question.
After the Apocalypse
Mercifully, warned by Yeshua’s words, the Nazarenes were spared, and were able to begin rebuilding their community in Pella. While they did so, further to the west near the Mediterranean Sea, the rabbinic establishment was also rebuilding, and without the Temple the Pharisees were now destined to hold sway, while the Sadducees faded into the dustbin of history. Two movements within Judaism were able to persevere: the Pharisaic and the Messianic. As a result of the war there was also a scattering of many Nazarenes from the regions of Jerusalem, Judea, and the Galilee. Eusebius speaks of the dispersion of the Shlichim, saying
“Such then was the plight of the Jews. Meanwhile the holy apostles and disciples of our Saviour were scattered over the whole world. Thomas, tradition tells us, was chosen for Parthia, Andrew for Scythia, John for Asia, where he remained till his death at Ephesus. Peter seems to have preached in Pontus, Galatia and Bithynia, Cappadocia and Asia, to the Jews of the Dispersion.”
The Nazarenes who were in Pella, however, weren’t to stay there too long. Eusebius’ list of 13 bishops in Jerusalem until the destruction of the city in 135 CE is one piece of evidence. Epiphanius, writing about 300 years later reported the memory that “ . . . the disciples of the disciples of the apostles [were] flourishing in the faith and working great signs, healings, and other miracles. For they were such as had come back from the city of Pella to Jerusalem and were living there and teaching. For when the city was about to be taken and destroyed by the Romans, it was revealed in advance to all the disciples by an angel of God that they should remove from the city, as it was going to be completely destroyed. They sojourned as emigrants in Pella.”
The Nazarenes had their own distinctive writings. Unfortunately, very unfortunately, few of these have survived. Papias, a disciple of the Apostle John, said that “Matthew compiled the Sayings in the Aramaic language, and everyone translated them as well as he could.” It is not entirely clear whether this is the same as the Gospel of the Hebrews, to which Eusebius also refers, but we do also know of the Didache, which was produced by this community, possibly from a group in Antioch, or some say Alexandria, which is doubtful. Ray Pritz suggests that the name “Gospel of the Hebrews” was actually not a document that had a settled name, and its name as it came to be called actually speaks of the people who used it – the Nazarenes, or “Hebrew” believers in Yeshua.
The Nazarenes had a hope for the future very much in line with the Hebrew Scriptures, as they believed that there would be a literal, 1000-year reign of the Messiah on this earth. This is the same millennium that almost all Messianic Jews today accept and hold to, as it is based on a literal reading of the Scriptures. Later, Christians would be sure that they these ancient disciples had misunderstood the apostles and had failed “to grasp what they had said in mystic and symbolic language.” Such was the transformation of Gentile Christianity of the message of the Scriptures into a theology that would make literal Israel of no consequence, only the Church, the spiritual heirs of all the blessings intended for the Jews.
Regardless, while such differences in teaching and sentiment began to separate the non-Jewish Christianity from Nascent Messianic Judaism, the Messianic Jews continued on in the Apostle’s teachings according to their Jewish customs. They did not see themselves as anything other than Jews, as was indeed the case. Later, Christianity would part ways, one strand at a time, until Judaism was to them a thing strange and abhorrent.
Did Pella become the “Yavne” of Messianic Judaism? In Yavne, a cadre of rabbinic sages we call the Tannaim, or teachers and rehearsers of the Oral Law, the Torah Ba’al Peh, were preserving the knowledge that would become the basis of the Mishnah. The Mishnah in turn is the basis for the Talmud, and after Scripture is a sort of fountainhead for the vast amount of literature and teaching that makes Judaism what it is today. The Nazarene’s stay in Pella was for a season, but the community in Jerusalem regathered and persevered. No Messianic Yavne formed, and as I’ve already mentioned, little of their writings has been preserved.
In our next episode, we will talk about the rarely discussed nascent Messianic Jewish movement between the first and second Jewish revolt, in other words the years between 70 and 135 CE. There’s the Jerusalem community, the communities of Matthew and Yochanan, or John, as well as Nazarene and Ebionite Messianic Judaism to consider. Far from being a fading or dead movement, we will see how much life there was during that amazing time.
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 Mason, Why Did Judaeans Go to War with Rome in 66–67 CE? Realist-Regional Perspectives, 164–65.
 Why Did Judaeans Go to War with Rome in 66–67 CE? Realist-Regional Perspectives, 191.
 Grayzel, A History of the Jews, 154.
 37–41 CE, Gaius was superseded by his nephew Nero who ruled until his suicide in 68 CE.
 Grayzel, A History of the Jews, 155.
 Cassius Dio, History 59.30.1
 Grayzel, A History of the Jews, 156.
 Schonfield, The History of Jewish Christianity, 39.
 Hist. eccl. 4.5.
 Hist. eccl. 3.11.
 Ant. 13.9.1.
 Ant. 20.9.1.
 Levine, Jerusalem, 403.
 Matt 22:21
 Jocz, The Jewish People and Jesus Christ, 165.
 Eusebius, Hist Eccl. 3.5.
 Pritz, "On Brandon's Rejection of the Pella Tradition," 43.
 Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 2.5.
 Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 2.7.1
 Josephus, War 6.5.3 Josephus, v. 4, 455–56.
 Schoeps, Jewish Christianity, 24–25. See Hist. eccl. 1.7.14.
 Brandon, Jerusalem and the Early Christian Church, 169.
 Ant. 13.15.4 (=13.397)
 Josephus, Wars 2.457–60.
 Mark 5:20, 7:31; Matt 4:25.
 Luke 21:20–22.
 Panarion 220.127.116.11.
 Panarion 18.104.22.168—5.1.
 Panarion 22.214.171.124–8.
 Levine, Jerusalem, 409. II:30, 3, 6, 7 from GLAJJ.
 Hist. eccl. 1.26.
 Matt 24:2.
 Philostratus, Life of Apollonius 6.29.
 Epiphanius, Weights and Measures, 54d, p. 30–31.
 Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 3.39.16.
 Pritz, Nazarene Jewish Christianity, 84.
 Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 3.39.12.