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 (9 December 1667 - 22 August 1752) was an English theologian, historian, and mathematician, a leading figure in the popularisation of the ideas of Isaac Newton. He is now probably best known for his translation of the Antiquities of the Jews and other works by Josephus, his A New Theory of the Earth, and his Arianism. Whiston succeeded his mentor Newton as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. Having lost the position over his theological views, he spent the rest of his life as a lecturer and writer. Titus Flavius Josephus (37 - c. 100), born Joseph ben Matityahu, was a first-century Romano-Jewish scholar, historian and hagiographer, who was born in Jerusalem-then part of Roman Judea-to a father of priestly descent and a mother who claimed royal ancestry. He initially fought against the Romans during the First Jewish-Roman War as head of Jewish forces in Galilee, until surrendering in 67 to Roman forces led by Vespasian after the six-week siege of Jotapata. Josephus claimed the Jewish Messianic prophecies that initiated the First Roman-Jewish War made reference to Vespasian becoming Emperor of Rome. In response Vespasian decided to keep Josephus as a hostage and interpreter. After Vespasian did become Emperor in 69, he granted Josephus his freedom, at which time Josephus assumed the emperor's family name of Flavius. Flavius Josephus fully defected to the Roman side and was granted Roman citizenship. He became an advisor and friend of Vespasian's son Titus, serving as his translator when Titus led the Siege of Jerusalem, which resulted-when the Jewish revolt did not surrender-in the city's destruction and the looting and destruction of Herod's Temple (Second Temple). Josephus recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the first century AD and the First Jewish-Roman War, including the Siege of Masada. His most important works were The Jewish War (c. 75) and Antiquities of the Jews (c. 94). The Jewish War recounts the Jewish revolt against Roman occupation (66-70). Antiquities of the Jews recounts the history of the world from a Jewish perspective for an ostensibly Roman audience. These works provide valuable insight into first century Judaism and the background of Early Christianity.

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