:"Theudas is also the name of a follower of
Paul of Tarsus, who taught Valentinius, for more information, see Theudas (teacher of Valentinius)"
Theudas (thyū'dăs) (died c. 46 AD) was a
Jewish rebel who probably claimed to be the Messiah. His name, if a Greek compound, may mean "gift of God", although other scholars believe its etymology is Semitic. [cite book |author=Emil Schürer |authorlink=Emil Schürer |others=revised and edited by Geza Vermes, Fergus Millarand Matthew Black|title=The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ, Volume I |edition=revised English edition |year=1973 |publisher=T&T Clark |location=Edinburgh |isbn=0-567-02242-0 |pages=p. 456, n. 6 ] Other scholars claim the name means “flowing with water”. [cite web
url = http://www.ccel.org/ccel/hitchcock/bible_names.txt
title = Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary
accessdate = 2007-04-16
year = 1874
last = Hitchcock
first = Roswell D.
publisher = A.J. Johnson] At some point between 44 and 46 AD, Theudas led his followers in a short-lived revolt.
Our principal source for the story is
Josephus, who wrote:
It came to pass, while
Cuspius Faduswas procurator of Judea, that a certain charlatan, whose name was Theudas, persuaded a great part of the people to take their effects with them, and follow him to the Jordan river; for he told them he was a prophet, and that he would, by his own command, divide the river, and afford them an easy passage over it. Many were deluded by his words. However, Fadus did not permit them to make any advantage of his wild attempt, but sent a troop of horsemen out against them. After falling upon them unexpectedly, they slew many of them, and took many of them alive. They also took Theudas alive, cut off his head, and carried it to Jerusalem. ("Jewish Antiquities" [http://pace.cns.yorku.ca/York/york/showText?book=20&chapter=5&textChunk=nieseSection&chunkId=97&text=anti&version=whiston 20.97-98] )
The movement was dispersed, and was never heard of again.
Josephus does not specifically state that Theudas claimed to be the Messiah, but this is likely in view of his journey into the wilderness and claim to be able to divide the river. [cite web | url = http://www.livius.org/men-mh/messiah/messianic_claimants08.html | title = Theudas | accessdate = 2007-01-05 | author = Jona Lendering | authorlink = Jona Lendering | work = Livius] Josephus also does not provide a number for Theudas' followers, but the
Acts of the Apostles, if it is referring to the same Theudas (see below), reports that they numbered about 400. The ease with which they were overcome suggests that they were unarmed, unlike many other Messianic insurgents of the period. [cite encyclopedia | author = W. J. Heard | editor = Joel B. Green, Scot McKnight and I. Howard Marshall| encyclopedia = Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels | title = Revolutionary Movements, 3.1.2: Theudas | year = 1992 | publisher = InterVarsity Press | location = Downers Grove, Ill. | id = ISBN 0-8308-1777-8]
The Theudas problem
Biblescholarship, the sole reference to Theudas presents a problem of chronology. In Acts of the Apostles, Gamaliel, a member of the sanhedrin, defends the apostles by referring to Theudas:
"Men of Israel, be cautious in deciding what to do with these men. Some time ago, Theudas came forward, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him. But he was killed and his whole following was broken up and disappeared. After him came
Judas the Galileanat the time of the census; he induced some people to revolt under his leadership, but he too perished and his whole following was scattered." ("NEB", Acts 5:36-8)
The difficulty is that the rising of Theudas is here given as before that of
Judas of Galilee, which is itself dated to the time of the taxation ("c." 6-7 AD). Josephus, on the other hand, says that Theudas was 45 or 46, which is after Gamaliel is speaking, and long after Judas the Galilean.
There are several arguments put forward to solve this problem. One is that Luke, the author of the
Book of Acts, makes a mistake in his reading of Josephus, and takes a later reference in Josephus to the execution of the "sons of Judas the Galilean" after the rebellion of Theudas as saying that the rebellion of Judas was later. Another possibility advanced by scholars is that Luke used a different, inaccurate source (possibly one that Josephus also used when he compiled his history). It is also possible that there were multiple "Theudases" or the text of Acts has been transmitted incorrectly. [cite web | url = http://members.aol.com/FlJosephus/ntparallels2.htm#Theudas | title = New Testament Parallels to the Works of Josephus: Theudas, and Judas the Galilean | accessdate = 2007-01-05 | author = G. J. Goldberg | work = Flavius Josephus Home Page]
*Flavius Josephus, "Jewish Antiquities" [http://pace.cns.yorku.ca/York/york/showText?book=20&chapter=5&textChunk=nieseSection&chunkId=97&text=anti&version=whiston 20.97-98]
Acts of the Apostles5:36
* [http://www.christian-thinktank.com/qtheudy.html A response to the Theudas problem]
* [http://jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=188&letter=T&search=Theudas Jewish Encyclopedia: Theudas]
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Theudas — war ein jüdischer Prediger und Zeitgenosse des Jesus von Nazareth (* zwischen 7 und 4 v. Chr.; † um 45 n. Chr.). Vermutlich wirkte Theudas als ein sozialrevolutionärer Rebell gegen die römische Oberherrschaft über Judäa. Wie Judas der Galiläer,… … Deutsch Wikipedia
THEUDAS — THEUDAS, a false prophet in Judea during the administration of the Roman procurator cuspius fadus (44–46). Josephus describes how Theudas persuaded the masses (in Acts 5:36 it is stated that they numbered 400) to gather up their possessions and… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
Theudas — Theudas, Jude, machte zur Zeit der Regierung des Kaisers Claudius, unter dem Procurator Cuspius Fadus, um 44 n. Chr., eine Empörung in Judäa; er gab sich für einen Propheten aus u. rühmte sich, daß er durch sein Wort den Jordan theilen könne. Er… … Pierer's Universal-Lexikon
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Theudas — A Messianic pretender who promised to lead his followers in revolt against Rome; he was killed according to Josephus [[➝ Josephus, Flavius]] in 44 CE. In Acts 5:36–7 Theudas is regarded as preceding another revolutionary, Judas, who died in 6 CE … Dictionary of the Bible
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