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Works of Josephus

Josephus (37 – sometime after 100), also known as Yosef Ben Matityahu (Joseph, son of Matthias), who became known, in his capacity as a Roman citizen, as Titus Flavius Josephus, was a first century Jewish historian and apologist of priestly and royal ancestry who survived and recorded the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. His works give an important insight into first-century Judaism.

   

Josephus's two most important works are The Jewish War (c. 75) and Antiquities of the Jews (c. 94). The Jewish War recounts the Jewish revolt against Rome (66-70). Antiquities of the Jews recounts the history of the world from a Jewish perspective. These works provide valuable insight into the background of first century Judaism and early Christianity.

Josephus includes information about individuals, groups, customs and geographical places. His writings provide a significant, extra-Biblical account of the post-Exilic period of the Maccabees, the Hasmonean dynasty, and the rise of Herod the Great. He makes references to the Sadducees, Jewish High Priests of the time, Pharisees and Essenes, the Herodian Temple, Quirinius' census and the Zealots, and to such figures as Pontius Pilate, Herod the Great, Agrippa I and Agrippa II, John the Baptist, James the brother of Jesus, and a disputed reference to Jesus. He is an important source for studies of immediate post-Temple Judaism (and, thus, the context of early Christianity).  --from Wikipedia


 
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