The Complete Works

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T. Nelson Publishers, 1998 - Jews - 1149 pages
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Josephus was a first-century Pharisee, soldier, informant to the Romans, and writer. He left behind the most extensive writings on ancient Jewish history still in existence, including us the earliest independent accounts of the lives of Jesus, John the Baptist, and James the brother of Jesus. Without Josephus, we would know very little about the Essenes, the ancient Jewish group most frequently associated with the Dead Sea Scrolls, or about the beliefs of the Sadducees and Pharisees. Features include: The War of the Jews: an account of the Jewish revolt against Rome up to the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem -- The Antiquities of the Jews: a history of the Jews from Creation to the Roman occupation of Palestine -- The Life of Flavius Josephus: the autobiography of Josephus, who fought against Rome and later served the empire -- Against Apion: a defense of the origin of Judaism in the face of Greco-Roman slanders -- Discourse to the Greeks Concerning Hades: a text attributed to Josephus -- Index of parallels between Josephus's Antiquities and the Old Testament including the Apocrypha.

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About the author (1998)

A member of a wealthy priestly family in Judea, Josephus was a Pharisee originally named Joseph ben Matthias. An active supporter of anti-Roman activity, he became governor of Galilee, a post he held with honor and valor until Galilee was taken by the Romans in a.d. 67. He won the favor of the Roman general Vespasian, whose name---Flavius---he took as his own and through whose patronage he later became a Roman citizen. Although often criticized for becoming a supporter of Rome, in his work Against Apion he passionately defends Jewish religion and culture. Josephus wrote both in Greek and in Hebrew. His writings are neither remarkably fine representatives of classical culture nor the product of deep learning in Jewish literature and history. They do, however, tell the reader a great deal not known from other sources. The Jewish War (75--79), based to a great extent on what Josephus himself saw, heard, and experienced, describes the tragic events of the Jewish revolt against Rome. Antiquities of the Jews (93) covers the history of the Jews from creation to the war with Rome, with special attention given to the Maccabees and the dynasty of Herod.

William Whiston (1662-1752), translator, was an English mathematician and historian who succeeded Isaac Newton as the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.

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