Special Issue "The Jewish Antiquities of Flavius Josephus: Studies in Memory of Louis Feldman"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 November 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Chris Seeman
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Theology, Walsh University, 2020 E Maple St, North Canton, OH 44720, USA
Interests: Sacred Scripture; Early Judaism; Hellenistic History

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The recent passing of Louis Feldman (March 25, 2017) marks the end of an era in Josephus scholarship. A trailblazing translator, prolific commentator, incisive analyst, and exhaustive bibliographer, Dr. Feldman was instrumental in enriching the appreciation of Josephus’ magnum opus, the Jewish Antiquities, particularly through his consistent attention to the intercultural aspects of Josephus’ writing.

The Jewish Antiquities remains central to many fields: the reception of the Hebrew Bible, the history of Judaism, Christianity, and of Greco-Roman civilization as a whole. In recent years, significant advances have also been made in the study of the reception history of Josephus’ writings in the ancient, medieval, and modern periods. None of these areas of investigation has been unaffected by Feldman’s foundational scholarly contributions.

The focus of this special issue of Religions is on research that continues to advance our understanding of the Jewish Antiquities, either in its original context or its subsequent impact. All topical areas—historical, literary, cultural, theological—are welcome. Given the broad, interdisciplinary scope of the journal, it would be salutary for the contributions to address more than a specialist audience, even if the topic addressed is specific.

Prof. Dr. Chris Seeman
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

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Keywords

  • Second Temple Judaism
  • Flavian literature
  • Rewritten Bible

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
The Figure of Pontius Pilate in Josephus Compared with Philo and the Gospel of John
Religions 2020, 11(2), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11020065 - 30 Jan 2020
Abstract
In this paper, I attempt an approach to the ‘historical Pilate.’ I aim to present the sources referring to him as well as to point out their rhetorical tendencies. However, the approach is selective: whereas all references to Pilate in Philo and Josephus [...] Read more.
In this paper, I attempt an approach to the ‘historical Pilate.’ I aim to present the sources referring to him as well as to point out their rhetorical tendencies. However, the approach is selective: whereas all references to Pilate in Philo and Josephus will be addressed, with respect to the New Testament, this study will be based only on the Gospel of John, because its text offers the longest narrative of the Roman trial of Jesus among the Gospels. At the end of each section, the main conclusions are presented. Finally, after discussed all the sources chosen for this work, I will try to depict a picture of the ‘historical Pilate.’ Full article
Open AccessArticle
On Triads, Teleology, and Tensions in Antiquities 18–20
Religions 2020, 11(1), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11010041 - 12 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Josephus liked to organize material in three-part structures, which imparted a sense of completion by indicating to readers that an end had been reached. This study focuses on Books 18–20 of Josephus’s Antiquities, which are organized as such a triad: Book 18 [...] Read more.
Josephus liked to organize material in three-part structures, which imparted a sense of completion by indicating to readers that an end had been reached. This study focuses on Books 18–20 of Josephus’s Antiquities, which are organized as such a triad: Book 18 opens Roman rule in Judea and adumbrates the final clash and catastrophe, Book 19 creates some suspense by detailing two possible interruptions that could have changed the course of history but in the end came to nothing, and so Book 20 resumes the story from the end of Book 18 and takes it down to the destruction of Jerusalem. Moreover, all three books, together, form a unit in a larger triad: the story told, in the second half of Antiquities, of Judea’s move from sovereignty under the Hasmoneans (Books 12–14), to nominal sovereignty under Herod (Books 15–17), to subjugation to Rome (Books 18–20). This focus on political history is, however, contradicted in various ways, both by Josephus’s development from a Judean into a Jew of the Diaspora, who focused more on religion than on state, and by various sources used by Josephus, that pulled in other directions. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Alexander Janneus as High Priest and King: Struggling between Jewish and Hellenistic Concepts of Rule
Religions 2020, 11(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11010040 - 12 Jan 2020
Abstract
Josephus refers explicitly to Alexander Janneus in his narratives in both War and Antiquities only as king. Janneus’s high priestly office is only implied, and that in a context that is hostile to him (War 1.88//Ant. 13.372). If one looks at [...] Read more.
Josephus refers explicitly to Alexander Janneus in his narratives in both War and Antiquities only as king. Janneus’s high priestly office is only implied, and that in a context that is hostile to him (War 1.88//Ant. 13.372). If one looks at Josephus’s list of high priests in Ant. 20.242, there he reports that Janneus acted both as king and priest for “twenty-seven years”. Was it Josephus who did not want to refer explicitly to Janneus as high priest in his narratives, was this dictated by his source/s, or by some other reason/s? More specifically, why is there a contrast between the narratives and the list? This study adopts source-critical, comparative, and interdisciplinary approach. It also compares Janneus with other rulers from the Hellenistic world with whom he shared many characteristics. However, certain aspects make the Hasmonean high priestly monarchy unique, dictated mainly by theological reasons. That of Janneus is an example of an institutional clash. Josephus was aware of the complexity and controversial aspects surrounding the institution of Hasmonean kingship and its combination with the high priesthood. For various reasons he chose not to identify Janneus explicitly as high priest in his narratives, but rather focus mainly on the royal policy. As an alternative, the Flavian historian drafted an idealized list of high priests in Ant. 20.225–245 that became the basis for developing his theocratic model of government, which—he probably hoped—could co-exist under the Roman emperor. Full article
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