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The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged, New Updated Edition Hardcover – September 1, 1980

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Language Notes

Text: English, Greek (translation)

About the Author

J. I. Packer is a professor of history and systematic theology at Regent College in Vancouver, Canada. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Hendrickson Publishers; Updated edition (September 1, 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0913573868
  • ISBN-13: 978-0913573860
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (294 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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304 of 312 people found the following review helpful By Andrew K. Wong on May 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The value of this volume is threefold, and all are noteworthy.
First, Josephus' account of the historical events and people in Judea during the 1st century A.D. has no peer. Josephus' facts are the most reliable from any secular historian during that period.
Second, Josephus' histories corroborate the Biblical accounts. Josephus, a Jewish general captured by the Romans during Judea's struggle for independence which ended in 70 A.D., mentions John the Baptist, the Herodian rulers of Judea, Pontius Pilate, and Jesus Christ. Josephus "fills in the blanks" by supplying detail not mentioned by the New Testament authors and gives flesh, bone (and blood) to the characters the Gospels and the Book of Acts relates.
Third, the translator, William Whiston, adds insightful and invaluable footnotes throughout the text. Whiston corrects Josephus where necessary or gives the reader more detail in support of Josephus' assertions by reference to other primary sources, many of which are no longer extant. Where Josephus refers to Jewish customs, Whiston explains them for the Gentile reader.
Thus, this book is best used as a reference book, though reading through Josephus' complete works is fruitful. The book is fairly compact for one containing 1000 pages. The pages are thin, which allows for its compact size, but which causes any highlighting or margin notes to "bleed" through to the reverse side of the page. The font size is 10 point, which makes for comfortable reading on the eyes. The appendices contain very helpful charts, including one which lists those excerpts from the Bible which run parallel to Josephus' chapters.
This is a great source book for any historian or Biblical scholar.
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179 of 183 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Bennett VINE VOICE on June 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Flavius Josephus (about AD 37-101) lived and worked during the first century AD, a time when major events occurred that would impact Judaism forever and the religion known as Christianity was born. He provides us with firsthand information regarding the Jews and Romans, which acts as good background information to the New Testament writings. After all, he lived during the time of the early Church. He also (scholarly debates aside) mentioned Jesus, John the Baptist and James. This edition includes his complete works. They are:
The Life of Flavius Josephus: This allows the reader learn about the life of Josephus from his own pen.
Antiquities of the Jews (20 chapters): It chronicles the history of the Jewish people from the Genesis creation account until the outbreak of revolt in AD 66. This section also includes information on the Roman leaders of the Jewish province, such as the Herods.
The Jewish Wars (7 chapters): This is Josephus' account of Jewish uprisings and wars. It starts with Antiochus Epiphanes. Most of the book, however, chronicles the Jews under the Romans, including the subjugation by Vespasian, the siege and conquest of the temple by Titus and the sedition of the Jews at Cyrene.
Against Apion (2 books): This is a defense of the antiquity of the Jewish people and a refutation of the charges brought against them by the grammarian Apion of Alexandria.
An Extract from the Discourses to the Greeks Concerning Hades: This short document outlines "Josephus'" views on Hades. Many scholars do not think Josephus is the author.
The translations are fairly easy to read, but since they were completed in the middle of the eighteenth century some words may be difficult for certain readers.
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156 of 161 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Kearney VINE VOICE on January 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
People spend a great deal of time interpreting scripture, and for good reason. For believers, the Bible is not just a historical document, but the living word of God. Still, as we research scripture, we want to know what life was like in the days of Jesus, and how the people of Jesus' day lived and interpreted scripture so we can better understand scripture in our own day. Perhaps the most important tool for such a task would be the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus.

Josephus himself was an interesting figure. He was born to a well to do Jewish family of the priestly class. He was a religious seeker and studied under the Pharisees and spent some time living an ascetic life. He later developed connections with Rome, and tried unsuccessfully to end the Jewish rebellion. His association with the Romans made him a bit of a turncoat to many people, but his involvement in many spheres of life in the years of the Jewish revolt gave him the opportunity to write a thorough history of his times, understanding the religious, political, and social dimensions of the day. It is largely through the writings of Josephus we understand the world of Jesus' day, and ultimately Jesus himself, even though there is only one questionable reference to Jesus in the writings (modern scholars belive this was probably a patristic insertion or at least a reworking by patristic writers).

This edition of the writings of Josephus is an excellent tool for non-scholarly Biblical study. Whiston's translation has been a standard for years and provides a good translation for preparation for preaching, Bible studies, and people who have an interest in scripture that would be deeper than the interest of a casual reader.
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