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In: Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries: The Interbellum 70‒132 CE
This volume provides the first full commentary to Book 15 of Josephus' Judean Antiquities, with a new English translation. In Antiquities 15 Josephus offers an account of the Judean kingdom ruled by Herod the Great (37–4 BCE). The commentary interprets his narrative in detail and identifies historical considerations that arise in the course of such analysis. Interpretation of the text requires attention to manuscript variants, vocabulary, use of sources, parallel accounts, relevant archaeology, and Josephus' Jewish, Roman, and Greek historiographical contexts. The overall approach is narratological, concerned ultimately with the way in which Josephus tells his story.
In: Violence, Scripture, and Textual Practice in Early Judaism and Christianity
In: Martyriumsvorstellungen in Antike und Mittelalter
In: Coping with Violence in the New Testament
In: Zutot


This contribution concerns the oracle about a world leader coming from the land of the Jews, as transmitted by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (Jewish War 6.300–315), which is paralleled in Tacitus (Histories 5.13) and Suetonius (Vespasian 4.5). The oracle plays an important role in Michael Molnar’s contextualization of Matthew’s Star of Bethlehem passage. Josephus and Tacitus set the oracle in the period of the Roman war against the Jews (66–70 ce) and connect it with portents indicating disaster. All versions state that the Jews misinterpreted the oracle, and that the ruler it pointed to was Vespasian (or Vespasian and Titus). The similarities between the three versions are so great that it is plausible that they are dependent on each other, or on a common source. The most probable explanation of the interdependency of the three versions is that Josephus is the source of the Latin versions. This explains how the oracle functioned as a reason for the Jews to revolt against the Romans. Josephus’ version may derive from a (messianic) passage in Jewish scripture, as Josephus states, but the content of the oracle is not specific enough to trace it to a specific passage in the Hebrew Bible.

In: The Star of Bethlehem and the Magi
In: Sibyls, Scriptures, and Scrolls
In: Tempel, Lehrhaus, Synagoge