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Old 04-06-2012, 12:21 PM   #1
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Bentwich, Norman: Josephus. V1. 06-Apr-2012

After the authobiography of Flavius Josephus, another view from the beginning of the last century.

Excerpt:
Josephus hardly merits a place on his own account in a series of Jewish Worthies, since neither as man of action nor as man of letters did he deserve particularly well of his nation. It is not his personal worthiness, but the worth of his work, that recommends him to the attention of the Jewish people. He was not a loyal general, and he was not a faithful chronicler of the struggle with Rome; but he had the merit of writing a number of books on the Jews and Judaism, which not only met the desire for knowledge of his nation in his own day, but which have been preserved through the ages and still remain one of the chief authorities for Jewish history. He lived at the great crisis of his people, when it stood at the parting of the ways. And while in his life he was patronized by those who had destroyed the national center, after his death he found favor with that larger religious community which was beginning to carry part of the Jewish mission to the Gentiles. For centuries Josephus was regarded by the Christians as the standard historian of the Jews, and, though for long he was forgotten and neglected by his own people, in modern times he has been carefully studied also by them, and his merits and demerits both as patriot and as writer have been critically examined.
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