Saturday, May 12, 2012

Josephus:  Antiquities of the Jews

This is a parallel version of the Bible that Josephus claims he translated from the Hebrew Bible.  Altogether there is about 50 hours of listening for the four volumes, with another 23 hours 25 minutes for the Wars of the Jews.  I am only getting towards the end of Volume 1, so there is still a long journey ahead.  I have an abridged version of Antiquities of the Jews and Wars of the Jews that I have read some years ago, but thought it would be good to familiarize myself with the entire set of his writings.

The main thing that stands out to me is the way Biblical stories are embellished.  What had been a simple and straightforward Biblical statement expands into long winded speeches flowing with rhetoric.  Then there are a few anomalous stories like the one where Moses led an Egyptian army to attack Ethiopia, and was having little success with the siege.  But then an Ethiopian princess saw how handsome Moses was and they got married and made peace.  I am wondering how much damage this will do to me since my atrophying brain will potentially scramble up the actual Biblical accounts with the versions from Josephus.

2 comments:

Delirious said...

I think the opposite could be true also. I think there could be incredible stories that were condensed and cut; losing some of the gems.

Max Coutinho said...

Hi Looney,

I have never heard that Moses married an Ethiopoan princess to make peace; however Numbers 12:1 does tell us that he married an Ethiopian (a woman from Cush = Ethiopia).

What were Josephus' sources? Now I must look into this...

Cheers