DOES πρoσευχας πoιεισαι, IN JOSEPHUS' ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS 14.257-58, MEAN 'BUILD PLACES OF PRAYER'?

in Journal for the Study of Judaism
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Abstract

In Antiquities of the Jews 14.257-58, Josephus records a decree by the people of Halicarnassus in which the Jews are, according to the Loeb translation by Marcus, allowed to "build places of prayer." However, this could also be translated as "offer prayers." In this article I first assess the arguments made by scholars who propose translating it in either of these ways, arguing that the solutions offered are inadequate. I then discuss Josephus' use of πoιεω in the middle voice pointing out that he never uses it to describe the construction of a whole building, only parts of a building. A comparison with the use of πoιεω in the New Testament, Philo and other sources confirms that in this decree "offer prayers" is the translation that should be adopted.

Journal for the Study of Judaism

In the Persian, Hellenistic and Roman Period

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