Item description for Josephus and New Testament (Recent Releases) by Steven Mason...
Overview Throughout Christian history, the works of Josephus have been mined for the light they shed on the world of the New Testament. Josephus tells us about the Herodian family, the temple, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Essenes. He mentions James the brother of Jesus, John the Baptist, and even Jesus himself. In Josephus and the New Testament, an internationally acknowledged authority on Josephus introduces this first-century Jewish historian to readers who want to begin to explore his witness to environment in which early Judaism and Christianity took shape.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Josephus and New Testament (Recent Releases)?
Josephus on the scholarly map Nov 30, 2008
As a student of the Classics with little prior knowledge of Josephus I fully agree with the above reviews. The book is fascinating and detailed, without missing to give a broader perspective of Josephus' writings and his time. I can fully recommend it to people who wish to learn about a fascinating historian and his turbulent times.
Review of Josephus and the New Testament Mar 27, 2008
The book is insightful and give lots of information, but unfortunately it is a boring read. The author states in the book that reading the original work is tedious, if that is the case it does not seem that he made reading his book any less tedious. So my approach to reading the book is a little at a time. I believe that this book is helpful depending on the type of research you are doing. Maybe you want to just get information - it is good for that as well. Just know that it will be a laborius task.
An Excellent Resource For Scripture Study Dec 16, 2006
Many people engaged in Bible study, whether it is a casual study or formal training in scripture, have found the writings of Flavius Josephus intriguing and helpful. The famous historian's writings were penned at the same time as many New Testament writings, and for this reason alone they are valuable. We hear Josephus talk about the major religious groups during New Testament times: those mentioned in the gospels and those not mentioned specifically but may have had an indirect influence on Christianity. We also find a detailed account of the fall of the Jerusalem Temple as well as references to John the Baptist, James "the brother of the Lord" (possibly dubious entries) and Jesus himself (most scholars, including Mason concede these brief and pious references were probably added by Christian copyists). The writings of Josephus are indispensable in studying scripture.
As important and helpful as the writings of Josephus can be, author Steve Mason points out that his writings have been misused over the centuries. Early Christian authors believed Josephus' account of the destruction of the Temple proved that God's favor had left Israel and had been transferred to Christians. His writings have supported many anti-Semitic campaigns in the past. He also contends that Josephus fell out of favor with many Jewish groups because he was considered a traitor during the battle with the Romans at the time of the Temple's destruction. While one could debate whether he was in fact a traitor, but most scholars do agree that Josephus did have a gift for self preservation. In this tract, Mason hopes to strip away Christian misinterpretations of Josephus and traditional historical biases and see Josephus as he intended to be seen: as a Jewish apologist defending the Jewish faith and people as an ancient and noble faith and worthy of respect in Ancient Rome. Mason contends that it is only by viewing Josephus in this light we can appreciate his writings.
The book gives a detailed biography of Josephus and provides a concise summary of Josephus' writings. He then reconstructs the New Testament world based on the historian's writings and looks at similarities and differences between the writings of Josephus and the New Testament. Perhaps what is Mason's greatest aide is that he does not favor Josephus' wrings as accurate and the New Testament as inaccurate, as can so often be the case. Instead he looks at the differences and points to why Josephus may have written what he did, keeping in mind Josephus did have an agenda and was not ashamed to admit it, and looking at why the New Testament recorded what it did. Readers will find that Mason's approach supports New Testament writings from a historical point of view.
JOSEPHUS AND THE NEW TESTAMENT is detailed, but it is an engaging read. This book will be helpful to any student engaged in New Testament studies. It's also accessible to any person who has an interest in scripture study. It makes a wonderful companion to the actual writings of Josephus and helps us to see the historian, as a historian and use his contributions appropriately.
good overview of Josephus Dec 8, 2004
I'm no scholar, just a layperson. But I enjoy learning and facts. I was familiar with Josephus in a vague type of way and knew his writings gave us much background and history for understanding New Testament life and times. And I wanted to learn more about Josephus and his writings. This book seemed the best option. It was somewhat "hard" reading for me, but I feel it was worth my efforts. The author, in my opinion, is somewhat on the theological liberal side. (I'm very conservative...) But I felt the book gave me a good overview of Josephus. It was what I was looking for...
Good introduction to Josephus and NT writings Nov 17, 2002
Recommended!! Written by an author who is a specialist in the literary traditions and content of first century authors like Josephus. Provides useful detailed insights and commentary on the comparitive style and content of Josephus and NT writers. For most of the book the author stays on-topic, and readers will find the Luke/Acts chapter one of the best in the book. The author should have pruned some of the off-topic wandering into biblical interpretation of the NT with no real connection to Josephus; fundamentalists might find the author's comments annoying, but there are enough plain interesting quirks in the NT text that the author cites to be useful nevetheless.