The Markan fragment, every sentence of which describes a different element of the Tarichaean episode of the war of the Jews against the Romans, sheds light on its author’s working method to conceal the real circumstances of this story:
This is how Mark turned a violent war story with Jesus as a rebellion leader into a peaceful Galilean countryside story portraying Jesus as a miracle healer helping many. Under Mark’s dehistoricizing veil, this fragment discusses several significant aspects of the Tarichaean episode of the war against the Romans and it does so chronologically.
Similarly, the Matthew fragment, of which the working method and the tone are very similar to that in Mark – which leads me to believe it was written by the same author – uses the following techniques:
The authors’ (or author’s) effort to dehistoricize focuses on the omission of three elements:
Based on Josephus’s information on the Tarichaean episode of the war in The Jewish War books II and III, my chronological theory, my translation emphases and my analysis in part I of this article we are now able to place these gospel fragments in the correct historical context. Below the reinstated historical information is in bold and my translation choices are underlined. I have put the Judea/Jerusalem/Idumea phrase in Mark between square brackets as I see it as redundant.
Mark 3: (7) When the Syrian inhabitants of Tiberias submitted the city to the Romans, Jesus retreated with his disciples to Tarichaeae at the sea, and a great multitude of Jewish revolutionaries from Galilee followed; also [from Judea (8) and Jerusalem and Idumea and] from beyond the Jordan and from about Tyre and Sidon a great multitude of Jewish refugees, hearing all that he did, came to him. (9) And just like the other defenders of Tarichaeae he ordered his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the vulgar mass of the Roman army, lest they should oppress him; (10) for he had taken care of many destitute people, so that all those who suffered from torments pressed upon him to touch him. (11) And whenever the Syrian inhabitants of the city with their unclean spirits beheld him, they fell down before him in agony and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” (12) And he sternly reproved them not to make him known to the Romans in case he would be taken prisoner.
Matthew 8: (18) Now when Jesus saw the vulgar mass of the Roman army all around him, the lake side of Tarichaeae included, he gave orders to go over to Samaria, the country at the other side of the Galilean border.