The “Others” Coming to John the Baptist and the Text of Josephus

In: Journal for the Study of Judaism
Author: Marco Rotman1
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  • 1 Faculty of Theology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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Josephus’s passage on John the Baptist (Ant. 18.116-119) contains a much-discussed crux interpretum: who are the “others” that are inspired by John’s words and ready to do everything he said (§118), and who are distinguished from those who gave heed to his message and were baptized (§117)? After a brief discussion of the textual witnesses, text, and translation of the passage in question, various interpretations of “the others” are discussed, none of which is entirely satisfactory. In this article a case will be made for accepting the conjecture originally proposed by Benedikt Niese, who assumed that Josephus originally wrote ἀνθρώπων “people” instead of ἄλλων “others.”

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