Just another interesting morsel. The inigmatic words of Matt 11:12
From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.
This statement certainly sounds as if John the baptist was a character from the distant past. I ran across this intriguing remark in the Clementine Recognitions:
For the people (Jews) were divided into many beliefs that began in the days of John the Baptist. For as the Messiah was ready to be revealed for the abolition of sacrifices and in order to reveal and show forth baptism, the slanderer who was opposed recognized from predestination the point in time and created sects and divisions, so that if the former sin should receive renunciation and correction, a second vice would be able to obstruct redemption.The Sadducees arose in the 2nd century BC. They were famously supporters of the Maccabeans. Aside from Josephus (which was otherwise ammended for Christian cause) is there other evidence JTB was a first century CE figure?
The first of these then are the ones called Sadducees, who arose in the days of John when they separated from the people as righteous ones and renounced the resurrection of the dead. They put forward their unbelieving doctrine speciously when they said, namely, "It is not right to worship and fear God in prospect of a reward for goodness." In this doctrine, as I have said, Dositheus began and, after Dositheus, Simon who also started to create differences of opinions in the likeness of the former. Now the pure disciples of John separated themselves greatly from the people and spoke of their teacher as if he were concealed (or: said that their master was, as it were,