The Works of Josephus
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The Works of Josephus

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  906 ratings  ·  65 reviews
Invaluable to all students of ancient histor y, this one-volume translation comprises the classic writing s '
Paperback, 944 pages
Published January 1st 1987 by Hendrickson Publishers (first published 1844)
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Janet Mueller
May 16, 2014 Janet Mueller rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Janet by: Calvary Chapel
I use this book as a reference to my daily Bible study. The text gives insight into historical aspects of the Bible & clarifies persons as well as their part in the history of God's people. The translation is clear & easy to absorb.

Fascinating read as Josephus writes of evidence of remains of 'the Giants', recorded in Scripture, which he himself has seen. Genesis 6 , 'Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons...more
Jeff
I gave this book a "4" for a couple reasons. First of all, the 200 or so pages in The Antiquities of the Jews that cover the Herodian Dynasty are really intriguing. The political maneuverings, the personal friendships with Antony and Roman Caesars, as well as the antipathy of Cleopatra towards Herod the Great reveal a world that was interconnected in a way that I had had no idea before reading this. The internal drama of the Herodian family plays out like a work of Shakespeare. The vast remainde...more
Steven Kent
Nope, I cannot claim to have read this volume from cover-to-cover, but I have read much of it... including the spurious accounts of his own conversion to Christianity.

It's been a while, but as I recall, Flavius Josephus was a Jewish scholar writing a history of his people for the Romans. Jewish scholars discount him because he wrote for the Romans.

He possessed a restless mind. His plan, as I recall, was to spend a few years practicing life as a Pharisee, then as a Sadducee. I think he planned to...more
Dan
A long time coming on this one. I had likened it to chewing cardboard in the beginning but once the Jewish War got underway it was an exciting read. The most interesting angle was the fact that its author Josephus was a prominent general among the Jewish ranks before being captured by the Romans and spared for the sake of recording this history. Makes you question the extent to which self preservation was a factor in his portrayals. The Jews saw it as the only factor, for which he was denounced...more
Keith Kendall
The first work in this volume is the chapter on his life. I had no idea that he was a governor, and military commander because even though I have had this book for decades, my only use of this book so far had been when I wanted an additional source to better understand what I had read in the Bible. Here he comes across (by his own account) as someone who readily forgave his lying enemies who had a fresh conspiracy against his life on every page.

The golden calf was totally missing.

I downloade...more
Lee Harmon
I don’t know if this is a particularly good translation; I’ve nothing to compare it to, since I’ve never read any other. It’s not the translation I wish to promote, it’s the writings. Every Bible scholar, especially New Testament scholars, simply MUST read Josephus.

Josephus was a Jewish historian who wrote his books during the same years that most of the New Testament was being written. That is, the latter three decades of the first century. Josephus was not particularly well-liked among Jews; h...more
Andrew Charles
Flavius Josephus provides a unique insight to the history and events of the Jewish people, especially in the first century CE. As a first-hand witness and participant there are natural biases and more than a little self-aggrandizement, and these can easily be identified. The fidelity of this translation however must be called into question by the clear biases of the translator who, despite the testimony of Josephus himself and his defense of Jewish Orthodoxy, repeatedly claims that Josephus is c...more
Darrell
Joseph ben Matthias, better known by his Roman name Flavius Josephus, is an important writer whether you are Jewish, Christian, Mormon, or secular. His writings are important from a purely historical point of view since he is one of the few historians of first century Judea whose work survives to the present day. He is important to Mormonism since Joseph Smith not only read Josephus in Carthage jail right before he was murdered, but Joseph Smith's translation of the Bible, as well as parts of th...more
Travis FFFFFFFFFF
WHEW.

I don't know if I'll ever get all the way through this alternative version of the Old Testament. Handed down to us from a first-century Jewish historian, this here has all my fave biblical tales -- plus a few tantalizing details and minus a few parts that I thought were... yknow, biblical.

For instance:
Moses as a youngster was a BADASS army general and totally destroyed the Ethiopians who were causing an insurgency in south Egypt. While he was down there, he married an Ethiopian princess. Wh...more
Mike
Due to the very old literary style in which this book was written, I found it to be rather difficult to read. However, it is both very informative and enlightening in its historical perspectives. I consider it absolutely essential for all Christians who wish to understand the historical background against from which their religion was born and shaped.
Bendick Ong
A complete translation of the Antiquities of the Jews and the Wars of the Jews. Plus a good introduction on the life of Joseph and several related dissertations. Contains quite a number of typos errors though. For eg, p543 column 2 line 1; Pg 545, column 2 lines 10 and 15; pg 546, chapter title; p547 column 1 line 9 ff.
Nik Kane
Although Josephus himself was a traitorous, conniving coward, his writings are required reading for those desiring a better understanding of the history and mythology of ancient Israel.
Jim
A tough read. It looks as though my reading skills are also suffering from the era of sound bites. On a serious note, more attention needs to be given to the classics of antiquity.
Tim
I read the Antiquities of the Jews, Wars of the Jews, and some of the follow-on material. The prodigious accomplishments and efforts of people like David or Herod the Great astounded me... Also, I enjoyed the unexpectedly large amount of Roman history -- even Capri, thanks to Tiberius and Augustus, comes into the narrative. I read this because Ernst Junger's protagonist in "The Glass Bees" took refuge in this book -- the historian's character as an "anarch" appealed to him. Also, one finds here...more
Lance
This version tries to remedy a problem that cropped up with students not being able to cross reference Whiston's translation with the Greek texts. As a result, each paragraph has Whiston's numbering system in boldface and throughout the text there are numbers appearing in parentheses, corresponding to the Greek texts' line numbers. Also the numbers are Arabic instead of Roman. Whiston's original footnotes have footnotes themselves from the modern editors. This can, at times, become tedious, but...more
Denise
It would be untrue if I said I read this cover to cover because I didn't. I read a great deal and skimmed a great deal. I have no way of accessing how much is lost in translation and I know that Josephus tended to skew history in his favor. I'm also aware that unscrupulous editors made unnecessary additions. Overall, an interesting read that should be taken with a hefty grain of salt.

For those who care, Josephus identified Vespasian as the predicted Messiah and was at no time ever a Christian, m...more
Kevin
This is a good reference book and supplements historical study
Ted
Still haven't finished reading "Wars of the Jews."
Regi
I read most of the book. I skimmed, then went back and re-read, looked up other sources, then continued. Although a vain man, he was a very important historian because of the amount of information he provides. I read his history with a grain of salt as I would read any; it has a bias - just as the translator obviously does.

It was very hard to start, but once you get used to his style of writing and ignore his self-flattery, you start to learn. I would give his style lower ratings, but I am not...more
Eliyanna Kaiser
Josephus gets five stars, I mean, c'mon, it's incredible.

The highly biased, 18th century Catholic annotations of this edition, however, get zero stars.

Three stars is the balance.

Read Josephus. Do. There's so much incredible history here. So much instant time travel and deeper understanding of where so much of our current world situation comes from. But for the love of whatever merciful deity you worship, get a more modern translation and annotation!
Mark Sequeira
As one of the few extant works from the time of Jesus and as his countryman, Josephus is invaluable to understanding the life and times of 1st century Israel. Also of understanding the book of revelation and the relationship with Rome, the typology used in relation to the Antichrist and the destruction of the temple and the war in 70ad. Jesus warned people to flee and not look back and with good reason when you read the account here.

Deanna
I have not read all of this, but I have read a lot of it and I find it facinating. I look forward to using it has a reference.

I have studied a lot of Relief Society history this year and one thing that was interesting is that when they did the Old Testament Course of study in 1916 (I think that was the year), each sister was expected to have her own copy of "The Works of Josephus" to suppliment her readings.
Regina
I gave this book two stars, but I didn't really think it would be FUN reading. It took me four years to read 1100 double columned pages. You just don't snuggle up with this book. But I feel like I learned some things about Bible time history that I didn't know. And I also learned how many differences there are in the older translations of our Scripture.

This book will serve as a good reference book.
Andre
Outstanding resource and probably should be on the shelves of all students of the Scriptures. This edition is contains it all in one volume: Antiquities, War of the Jews, and the debated Discourse to the Greeks. Whiston's edition, as far as I know, is the the only edition that contains the discourse. Much insight can be gained through reading through Josephus.
Colin
I first read Josephus in graduate school, finding him fascinating enough to track down in the original Greek (through the Loeb). His complete works are available in translation at very little expense because of his importance to Biblical studies, which causes Biblical-studies presses to keep producing inexpensive editions. Nice!
Jenna Leigh
Such a great reference, and amazing to read. It was very interesting to see how Josephus interpreted some of the Old Testament, and my copy of this volume has passages highlighted and notes written all over its pages! I highly recommend this for the history buff and somebody interested in 1st century Jewish culture.
David
Modern historians whom are critical do a disservice to his work. Though inaccurate by modern standards, when judged among his peers, his scholarship is admirable. Sometimes convoluted, yet often insightful, his account is largely responsible for the information we have on the times which the Savior walked.
Liesel
This book was essential to my understanding of Christ's time, the first century and the New Testament. It is a difficult read, but I highly recommend it to someone who really wants to dig in and understand that time period and the New Testament.
Rod
The first half of the book is a chronological exposition of the "Old Testament". The second half is an eye witness account of the war of the Jews and the Roman Empire including the fall of Jerusalem. It is very detailed with graphic imagery.
Curtis Chamberlain
What a spectacular historical compilation! This book is one of my favorite resources when looking for accurate data on the Holy Roman Empire or Jewish history.

In invaluable resource for any student of history or theology!
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question 4 19 Dec 25, 2012 07:40PM  
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5468507
Titus Flavius Josephus (37 – c. 100),[1] also called Joseph ben Matityahu (Biblical Hebrew: יוסף בן מתתיהו, Yosef ben Matityahu),[2] was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer who was born in Jerusalem - then part of Roman Judea - to a father of priestly descent and a mother who claimed royal ancestry.

He initially fought against the Romans during the First Jewish–Roman War as the h...more
More about Josephus...
The Jewish War Josephus: The Essential Writings Jewish Antiquities Josephus: Thrones of Blood Works: The Jewish War, Books I-II (Loeb Classical Library)

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