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Antiquities of the Jews
  • Preface
  • Creation to Death of Isaac
  • Death of Isaac to the Exodus
  • From Exodus to Rejection of the Generation
  • Rejection of that Generation to the Death of Moses
  • Death of Moses to Death of Eli
  • Death of Eli to the Death of Saul
  • Death of Saul to the Death of David
  • Death of David to the Death of Ahab
  • Death of Ahab to the Captivity of the Ten Tribes
  • Captivity of the Ten Tribes to the First Year of Cyrus
  • First Year of Cyrus to the Death of Alexander the Great
  • Death of Alexander the Great to the Death of Judas Maccabeus
  • Death of Judas Maccabeus to the Death of Queen Alexandra
  • Death of Queen Alexandra to the Death of Antigonus
  • Death of Antigonus to the Finishing of the Temple by Herod
  • Finishing of the Temple by Herod to the Death of Alexander and Aristobulus
  • Death of Alexander and Aristobulus to the Banishment of Archelaus
  • Banishment of Archelaus to the Departure of the Jews from Babylon
  • From the Departure of the Jews from Babylon to Fadus the Roman Procurator
  • Fadus the Procurator to Florus

  • War of the Jews
  • Preface
  • Taking of Jerusalem by Antiochus Epiphanes to the Death of Herod the Great
  • Death of Herod till Vespasian was sent to subdue the Jews by Nero
  • Vespasian's coming to Subdue the Jews to the Taking of Gamala
  • Siege of Gamala to the Coming of Titus to besiege Jerusalem
  • Coming of Titus to besiege Jerusalem to the Great Extremity to which the Jews were reduced
  • Great Extremity to which the Jews were reduced to the taking of Jerusalem by Titus
  • Taking of Jerusalem by Titus to the Sedition of the Jews at Cyrene

  • Autobiography
  • The Life of Flavius Josephus

  • Hades
  • Josephus's Discourse to the Greeks on Hades

  • Flavius Josephus Against Apion
  • Part I
  • Part II
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    Flavius Josephus

    Flavius Josephus

            Josephus was a priest, a soldier, and a scholar.  He is famous for being the most credible secular historian to record the existence of Jesus Christ outside of the New Testament.

            He was born Joseph ben Mattathias in Jerusalem in 37 CE, a few years after the time of Jesus, during the time of the Roman occupation of the Jewish homeland. In his early twenties he was sent to Rome to negotiate the release of several priests held hostage by Emperor Nero. When he returned home after completing his mission he found the nation beginning a revolution against the Romans. 

         Despite his foreboding that the cause was hopeless, he was drafted into becoming commander of the revolutionary forces in Galilee, where he spent more time controlling internal factions than  fighting the Roman army. When the city of Jotapata he was defending fell to the Roman general Vespasian, Josephus and his supporters hid in a cave and entered into a suicide pact, which Josephus oddly survived. 

        Taken prisoner by Vespasian, Josephus presented himself as a prophet. Noting that the war had been propelled by an ancient oracle that foretold a world ruler would arise from Judaea, Josephus asserted that this referred to Vespasian, who was destined to become Emperor of Rome. Intrigued, Vespasian spared his life. When this prophecy came true, and Vespasian became Emperor, he rewarded Josephus handsomely, freeing him from his chains and eventually adopting him into his family, the Flavians. Josephus thus became Flavius Josephus. 

         During the remainder of the war, Josephus assisted the Roman commander Titus, Vespasian's son, with understanding the Jewish nation and in negotiating with the revolutionaries. Called a traitor, he was unable to persuade the defenders of Jerusalem to surrender to the Roman siege, and instead became a witness to the destruction of the city and the Holy Temple. 

          Living at the Flavian court in Rome, Josephus undertook to write a history of the war he had witnessed. The work, while apparently factually correct, also served to flatter his patron and to warn other provinces against the folly of opposing the Romans. He first wrote in his native language of Aramaic, then with assistance translated it into Greek (the most-used language of the Empire). It was published a few years after the end of the war, in about 78 CE. He was about 40 years old. 

         Josephus subsequently improved his language skills and undertook a massive work in Greek explaining the history of the Jews to the general non-Jewish audience. He emphasized that the Jewish culture and Bible were older than any other then existing, hence called his work the Jewish Antiquities. Approximately half the work is a rephrasing of the Hebrew Bible, while much of the rest draws on previous historians. This work was published in 93 or 94 CE, when he was about 56 years old. 

    In Rome, in the year 93, Josephus published his lengthy history of the Jews. While discussing the period in which the Jews of Judaea were governed by the Roman procurator Pontius Pilate, Josephus included the following account:

    About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared. - Jewish Antiquities, 18.3.3 63 (Based on the translation of Louis H. Feldman, The Loeb Classical Library.)

        Josephus wrote at least two smaller books, including his autobiography, in which he recounts his life from birth until the writing of the Antiquities. The year he died is unknown. 

  • Antiquities of the Jews
  • War of the Jews
  • Autobiography
  • Hades
  • Against Apion
  • Complete Works of Josephus
    Complete Works of Josephus

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