Este trabajo analiza los presupuestos de la política nacionalista e imperialista de la circuncisión forzosa en el reino de Judea, tal como fue desarrollada en el tiempo de los Asmoneos, y propone tomar en consideración esa política al estudiar el asunto de la circuncisión en los escritos de Pablo (especialmente en la Carta a los Gálatas) y en los de Josefo. Estos dos judíos del siglo I rechazaron la circuncisiónforzada de los gentiles al crear sus propias comunidades, y así considero (...) esencial comprender su actitud como reacción ante el recuerdo de aquella política de Judea. La investigación precedente acerca de este asunto se ha dirigido sobre todo a la cuestión de la conversión y no ha establecido la relación directa entre Pablo, Josefo y dicha política de circuncisión forzasa. (shrink)
The destruction of the temple in Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70 was an unquestionably traumatic event in the history of the Jewish people. By all accounts it was a social, political, and theological disaster. As such, contemporary Jewish figures wrestled with the meaning of the event. This article analyses the efforts by two figures in this internal Jewish dialogue to provide this meaning, namely, the historian Josephus and Jesus of Nazareth. We will see that in both cases (...) the meaning of the destruction was rooted in the firm conviction of the God of Israel’s existence and his self-revelation in Scripture. The temple was destroyed not apart from God or in spite of God, but in full accordance with his will. This will, moreover, was judged to be accessible through Scripture, both in terms of its prophetic value and its establishment of a metanarrative – redemptive history – that provided a framework for historical events. In addition, the reason for the destruction was judged by both to be the sins of people. The major difference between them lay rather in the question of which sins exactly were judged to be responsible. (shrink)
After the Jewish War Josephus was taken to Rome by Titus and then enjoyed the favour of Vespasian . The first task set him was to write a history of it in Aramaic for the ‘upper barbarians’, by which he means Parthians, Babylonians, Jews beyond Euphrates and Adiabenians . For his work he doubtless had access to the ‘commentarii’ of the emperor. This task may not have taken him long, but the translation into Greek which we possess took longer, (...) and was finished before the emperor's death, but after the dedication of the Forum Pacis . In its leisurely composition he tells us later that he had ‘certain assistants’ in the Greek language. As the work is quite uniform and smooth in style, we can only assume that J. turned his Aramaic into Greek himself to start with, and then placed the MS in the hands of assistants who systematically revised it, rewriting where necessary. No other hypothesis is possible; for no assistant could have been found sufficiently familiar with both Aramaic and literary Greek—at least it is highly improbable—and we have no reason to disbelieve J. when he says he translated his original treatise. (shrink)
Names of Romans in Josephus are notoriously liable to corruption. Two minor characters in his account of the assassination of Caligula have so far defied plausible emendation, ‘Timidius’ in A.J. 19.33–4 and ‘Bathybius’ in 19.91. The sources of Josephus’ account of this dramatic episode were unquestionably high class—two, rather than one, Latin historians, as Wiseman has demonstrated, the main one being Cluvius Rufus, the other possibly Fabius Rusticus.
Josephus' pamphlet commonly known under the title Contra Apionem makes rather interesting reading, not only because it represents a more mature stage in the author's stylistic evolution, which shows so many points worth considering, but also and chiefly because it gives us a direct insight into a vehement polemic in which the writer played a leading role.
The Against Apion of Josephus is not only a defense of Judaism and Jewish history, but also an essay in historiography and historical criticism, as an outline of the work reveals. Josephus explains how history should and should not be written, and attempts to prove that certain versions of the past are truer than others. The Against Apion may attack the reliability and integrity of Greek historiography as being divisive and instable, but it is from the Greeks that (...)Josephus learned the idea and techniques of historical criticism. He develops his argument by appeal to the superiority of Jewish history, canon, and community, but all these pro-Jewish and anti-Greek arguments have Greek origins. The Greek argument from consensus shaped the historical and theological argumentation of the Against Apion, and Greek precedents provided the basis for the ahistorical or antihistorical view of Judaism that Josephus proposes. Josephus' polemic proves weakest in his argument from canon, and in his contrasting Jewish stability with Greek restiveness. (shrink)
This contribution aims at deconstructing a Christian master narrative that interprets Josephus as crucial support for the New Testament message that the Temple had to become a ruin, in line with the will of God. It argues for an alternative interpretation, namely that both Jesus of Nazareth and Josephus considered the Temple to be still relevant, albeit in different ways. For Jesus the Temple was the self-evident cultic centre of Judaism and a special place to experience his relationship (...) with God. None of Jesus’ statements about the Temple in their original context necessarily implies that Jesus assumed that the institution of the Temple would stop functioning in the near future or at the end of time. Josephus’s perspective on the Temple changes in his works. The elaborate description of Jerusalem and the Temple in War 5 reads as a written monument of the past, but several passages in Josephus’s Antiquities and Against Apion imply that the Temple was still important after 70 CE. Josephus may have reckoned with the possibility that the Temple was going to be rebuilt if the Romans allowed for it.This contribution is dedicated to Pieter G.R. de Villiers, a modest but sophisticated scholar and a good friend. (shrink)